Common name in other languages:
Dutch Vale Grier; German Gansegeier; French Vautour Fauve; Spanish Buitre Leonado; Portuguese Grifo; Swedish Gasgam
Size: 95-110 cm
Weight: 6-11 kg
Wingspan: 240-280 cm
Life expectancy: up to 37 years in captivity
Features: The Griffon vulture is sand-coloured to dark brown, with a white head, neck and ruff. The primary- and tail feathers are dark brown to black. Young birds have a brown ruff and are darker in colour. The wings are long and wide and are resemble fingers.
Distribution: Following a decline in the 20th century by poisoning, hunting and decreasing of food supplies, in recent year the species has increased dramatically in some areas, particularly in Spain, the French Pyrenees and Portugal. In Europe, the breeding population is between 19.000 and 21.000 pairs, with around 17.500 pairs in Spain and approximately 600 in France.
Behaviour: The Griffon vulture feeds mainly on the softer parts of carcasses, such as the muscles and viscera. Because of it’s long neck, this species can reach far into the carcass without snagging. Griffon vultures are very social in comparison to other vulture species. They forage in groups and breed in colonies on steep cliffs.