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Himalayan Griffon

Gyps himalayensis


35°32'11.53"N 101° 2'13.42"E -- This was a group of grounded vultures. I don't know what, exactly, they were gathered around; but at one point one of them seemed to discover a hunk of meat (hence the picture of it coming toward us with its wings outstretched; it's hopping toward the meat). There were eight vultures in total, and three Tibetan magpies to boot. I came upon them at about 9:50am near to the road. ----------------- In the distance behind them, you can see the orange sand dunes of the formidable desert sandwiched (perhaps not for long) between Guinan and Longyangxia reservoir. -------------------------------- Many thanks to for letting me borrow their camera to take these shots!

2 Species ID Suggestions

Himalayan Vulture
Gyps himalayensis Himalayan Vulture
MarcFoggin 9 years ago
Cinereous vulture
Aegypius monachus

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TracyB 9 years ago

Marc - Thanks for the heads-up! I went through all of my pictures and watched them very closely; I'm going to stick with them all as Himalayan Griffons right now, since none of them had the head profile or body language as a Cinereous vulture as far as I could tell. I think that Himalayan Griffons can have blue around their eyes and a bluish tinge close to their beak, and that the more juvenile of them have darker feathers (judging by image searches and Wikipedia...)

MarcFoggin 9 years ago

I believe two kinds of vultures may be present together. At least one is a Himalayan vulture (as also suggested by Stian Waaler), which is the most common vulture in Qinghai province; but I believe there are also a couple of cinereous vultures - these are generally much darker than the Himalayan, and they also have bluish base to their beak, which can be clearly observed in a couple of the pictures.

Spotted by

青海, Paracel Islands

Spotted on Nov 16, 2012
Submitted on Nov 10, 2013

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