Appearance There are 7 species of Vultures found in Kenya. They share their family name (Accipitridae) with Buzzards, Eagles, Goshawks, Hawks, Harriers, Kites, Sparrowhawks, the Bateleur, Lammergeier and Shikra. Vultures vary in size from the Palm-nut Vulture 24" (61cm) to the Lappet-faced (Nubian) Vulture at 45" (114cm). They are good fliers, but better at gliding on thermals, on long wings. Necks and heads largely devoid of feathers, evolved through sticking their heads into carcasses. Lower legs are also bare of feathers. Strong feet, used to walking and running. A predator's raptorial bill, powerful and hooked. Some Females are larger than males.
Habits Some Vultures nest in cliffs, others in trees.
Diet Vultures eat carrion, soaring on thermals, looking for other animal's kills. A flock often gives away their presence to other predators and they often have to wait patiently until the larger animals have had their fill. If they spot stray bones, they land and snatch the offerings, running off with them.
Resident Vultures are most often seen in Kenya's national game parks, where there are more carcasses. A few reside near towns and villages. Others are seen only in mountainous or waterway areas.
Extra Vulture Facts Vultures have a variety of strange calls, mostly shrieking, hissing, grunting and chattering at carcasses.
Photographs Photographed at Kenya's Masai Mara, Nairobi NP and Olare Orok Conservancy.