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Egyptian Vulture

Neophron percnopterus


An Endangered species as per IUCN. Seen a whole family of this bird near a dead cow. My spotting of the Juveniles is at In the last pic the couple can be seen. They feed on the eggs of other birds, breaking larger ones by tossing a large pebble onto them. The use of tools is rare in birds and apart from the use of a pebble as a hammer, Egyptian Vultures also use twigs to roll up wool for use in their nest. The adult's plumage is white, with black flight feathers in the wings.


Seen at Madhav National Park. The park officials informed me that these birds were quite common in villages around the Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh border.


During the beginning of the breeding season, courting pairs soar high together and one or both may make steep spiralling or swooping dives. The birds are monogamous and pair bonds may be maintained for more than one breeding season and the same nest sites may be reused each year. In India, the decline of this bird has been rapid with a 35% decrease each year since 1999. The exact cause of the decline is not known, but has been linked with the use of the NSAID Diclofenac, which has been known to cause death in Gyps vultures. Populations of this species have declined in the 20th century and some island populations are endangered by hunting, accidental poisoning, and collision with power lines.

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Wild Things
Wild Things 11 years ago

Thanks for joining in the discussion Emma. I guess that's how the eco-system works. Everything's via, via, via.

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 11 years ago

Thanks for this great info and explanation.
Everything is Via, Via, Via........

Wild Things
Wild Things 11 years ago

Thanks Leuba, as per wiki: At a meeting of the National Wildlife Board in March 2005, the Government of India announced that it intended to phase out the veterinary use of diclofenac, Meloxicam is a safer candidate to replace use of diclofenac. It is more expensive than diclofenac, but the price is coming down as more drug companies begin to manufacture it. Emma the reason for the increase in Rabies may also be cited in wikipeida as: The loss of tens of millions of vultures over the last decade has had major ecological consequences across the Indian subcontinent that pose a potential threat to human health. In many places, populations of feral dogs (Canis familiaris) have increased sharply from the disappearance of Gyps vultures as the main scavenger of wild and domestic ungulate carcasses. Associated with the rise in dog numbers is an increased risk of rabies and casualties of almost 50,000 people. The Government of India cites one of those major consequences as a vulture species extinction. A major shift in transfer of corpse pathogens from vultures to feral dogs and rats can lead to a disease pandemic causing millions of deaths in a crowded country like India; whereas vultures' digestive systems safely destroy many species of such pathogens. The resulting multiplication of feral dogs in India and Pakistan has caused a multiplication of leopards feeding on those dogs and invading urban areas looking for dogs to prey on, resulting in occasional attacks on human children.

Wild Things
Wild Things 11 years ago

Thank you Surekha, Emma, Argybee and JoshuaAsel. Joshua: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It has the same effect on Vultures as on the Falcons. As per wiki: Use of diclofenac in animals has been reported to have led to a sharp decline in the vulture population in the Indian subcontinent, 95% decline in 2003, 99.9% decline as of 2008. The mechanism is, it is presumed, renal failure, a known side-effect of diclofenac. Vultures eat the carcasses of livestock that have been administered veterinary diclofenac, and are poisoned by the accumulated chemical, as vultures do not have a particular enzyme which breaks down diclofenac.

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 11 years ago

Joshua,Do you know that there is a link between rise of Rabies and decline of these Raptors?

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 11 years ago

Great spotting and information Satyen. Is the Indian govt. doing anything about protecting the species or preventing a further decline in numbers ??

Josh Asel
Josh Asel 11 years ago

but "they" probably already thot of that...

Josh Asel
Josh Asel 11 years ago

Great stuff man! i dont know what NSAID is, but could it be linked to a pesticide spray? that is how the majority population of Peregrine Falcons almost went extinct before their rise again. a chain reaction of prey eating prey that ate the crops with a certain pesticide, in turn making Peregrine egg shells thin and non-durable for viable embryo growth.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 11 years ago

Nice spotting Satyen.

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 11 years ago

lovely plumage!

surekha 11 years ago

Awesome captures and interesting info, Satyen!

Wild Things
Wild Things 11 years ago

Thanks again Aakash. Indeed a rare site.

JivaniAakash 11 years ago

Rare site!!

Wild Things
Wild Things 11 years ago

Thank you Karen, Emma and Sachin.

Sachin Zaveri
Sachin Zaveri 11 years ago

wow,, so impressive,

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 11 years ago

Gorgeous indeed!

KarenSaxton 11 years ago


Wild Things
Spotted by
Wild Things

Shivpuri, India

Spotted on Jun 5, 2012
Submitted on Jun 24, 2012

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