Hooded Vulture (Necrosyrtes monachus)

Hooded Vultures are very large, 30" (75cm) birds, although small by Vulture standards. They are slim and dark brown, with pink heads and fore-necks. An off-white 'wool' covers the back of the head and rear of the neck. The chest is covered with white feathers. The top half of the legs is white flecked with brown. The tail is short. Its very slim bill is pink, tipped with black. The eyes are brown, with distinctive blue orbital rings.

Hooded Vultures are generally found in small groups, or pairs. Larger groups gregariously roost in tree-tops.

Like all Vultures, Hooded Vultures are scavengers. Hooded Vultures also eat insects and lizards.

Due to habitat loss, Hooded Vultures are now mostly found in National Parks. Not generally seen in the far east of Kenya. Very few around towns and villages in the far west of Kenya and lower Tana River area.

Extra Hooded Vulture Facts
Hooded Vultures, being one of the smallest Vultures, are usually seen at the edge of a carcass, waiting for the larger Vultures to have their fill. Thus, they do not need the large bill of other Vultures, because its bill has nothing to rip open. Its slim bill is ideal for tearing at tendons and small scraps.

Photographed at Kenya's Masai Mara and Olare Orok Conservancy.

Categories & Keywords
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:bird, hooded vulture, kenya, vulture, wildlife

Hooded Vulture ~ Head Turned

Hooded Vulture showing its brown back.  Its head is turned, showing its 'hood' and diagnostic blue orbital ring around its eye.

Hooded Vulture ~ Bill Open

Hooded Vulture with bill open, seeming to 'pant' in the heat, like a dog.

Hooded Vultures ~ Patiently Waiting

Pair of Hooded Vultures on a slope, waiting their turn at a carcus.

Hooded Vulture ~ Wings Spread

Hooded Vulture, stood with wings outstretched, cooling itself in the heat.

Hooded Vulture ~ White-backed Vulture

Hooded Vulture ~ White-backed Vulture

Hooded Vulture ~ Pair

Two Hooded Vultures, one with head turned 180 degrees, looking over its back.

Hooded Vulture ~ Ready To Fly

Hooded Vulture, on top of a tall bush, with its wings up, about to fly.

Hooded Vulture ~ In Flight

Hooded Vulture flying, its massive wings powering it upwards.