Lappet-faced Vulture (Torgos tracheliotus)

The Lappet-faced or Nubian Vulture is a very large bird, 45" (115cm) and powerfully built. The plumage is blackish-brown, with white-streaked underparts. The head and neck are bare of feathers and pink - red, when excited - and very wrinkled. Face is white or blue, with a huge ivory-black bill. Feet are a blue-grey and eyes are brown. In flight, its white 'leggings' give the Lappet-faced Vulture a white-bellied appearance. The tail is short, with an evident V shape.

Mostly seen in pairs, around carcasses or roosting atop Desert Palm or Acacia trees. The powerful hooked bill can rip open carcasses.

The Lappet-faced Vulture dominates all other African Vultures at carcasses, due to its size and power.

Seen only in protected areas and in decline due to poisoning. Mostly seen where there are large herbivore populations, most numerously in the Mara and Serengeti regions.

Extra Facts
Lappet-faced Vultures are usually silent.

Photographed in Kenya's Olare Orok Conservancy, bordering Mara GR.

Categories & Keywords
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:bird, kenya, lappet-faced vulture, vulture, wildlife

Lappet-faced Vulture ~ Flying

Lappet-faced Vulture in flight. A dramatic photograph, showing just one otstretched wing and the Vulture's body.

Lappet-faced Vulture ~ Mirror Image

Two Lappet-faced Vultures, back-to-back making a mirror image.

Lappet-faced Vulture ~ Pair

A pair of Lappet-faced Vultures, eating scraps of African Buffalo meat

Lappet-faced Vulture ~ in Sunlight

A Lappet-faced Vulture, standing in full sunlight, wings slightly spread.

Lappet-faced Vulture ~ Perched

Immature Lappet-faced Vulture, perched on top of a rotten tree stump.

Lappet-faced Vulture ~ Outside, Looking In

Lappet-faced Vulture on the outside of a large number of other Vultures at a carcus.

Lappet-faced Vulture ~ Portrait

Portrait photograph of Lappet-faced Vulture, on the edge of a feeding frenzy around a carcus.