At the kill...

By ColleenA
Good morning....
Thank you so much for all the votes and great comments on my Young giraffe yesterday and apologies for calling him sillyBlush A big Thank you to Prabhas ant to Jenn (taggart) for their UA's, so grateful

Today a Lappet faced vulture, they are big birds growing to a height of 98-105cm,. They can weigh as much as 6.5-8kg and have a wingspan of 2.8m. They have been described as the most hideous birds in the world.
There are only 49 breeding pairs left in the area (around Kruger National park) They soar and glide at 50km/h and have a territory of 900 sq kms. They rarely interact with other pairs.
They are mostly always the last to arrive at a kill and are seen spiraling down from a very high height. They tend to eat the skin, tendons and ligaments which other vultures find hard to process therefore they do not go hungry by arriving late at a kill. I was in the process of capturing vultures flying in for the kill when I spotted him sitting to one side alone watching about 15 normal vultures attacking a kill waiting his turn, hence my high shutter speed. I did not want to waste time changing settings as they are such rare sightings. He was also quite far from us! Had my lens on full zoom.
Have a great Monday...GrinGrin

Tags: Wildlife and nature

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Andysnapper 10 109 25 England
16 Sep 2013 6:35AM
They do have a very lizard look to them but I suppose that's where birds evolved from so its not surprising really.

This is actually a pretty good shot considering the conditions, some nice feather detail and you can see the face really well. Good shot Colleen, well spotted.


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CarolG 11 199 20 Greece
16 Sep 2013 6:37AM
I don't think he's hideous, Colleen, and I'm sure him mum loves him Smile Another super wildlife capture. Carol
Hermanus 5 4 South Africa
16 Sep 2013 6:38AM
Good morning Colleen !! This is a super capture of this Lappet faced vulture ! A great and informative write up on it too !! We have sunny skies here today - so I suppose the same holds true for you guys in Cape Town Smile
Caziwinkles 5 3 1 United Kingdom
16 Sep 2013 6:51AM
He is quite odd looking really - his pink face looks like mine after a bout of keep fit! Great image and informative write up Colleen. Smile
S_Psharma 5 1 India
16 Sep 2013 6:53AM
16 Sep 2013 7:03AM
I like vultures, the ones we had sitting on our fence in Guine-Bissau were darker, but then the local people said they were souls of the dead back visiting, they would never harm them so we had - let us say - a lot of them. Lovely to see in the air, not so pretty on the fence but I grew fond of them.
ddolfelin Plus
6 103 3 Wales
16 Sep 2013 7:05AM
An essential bird going about its duties.
Great shot, Colleen.
LynneJoyce Plus
9 20 99 United Kingdom
16 Sep 2013 7:06AM
I like Vultures too, essential members of Nature's clean-up brigade. Thank you so much for giving us a view or this rare beast.
Nikonuser1 Plus
5 152 16 United Kingdom
16 Sep 2013 7:43AM
Great capture Colleen, I also like vultures, a bird nature designed for a specific taskSmile

NaturesHaven 6 283 6 England
16 Sep 2013 7:44AM
I like Vultures........they make a great re-cycling team............this one looks as if some of the chest feathers have been plucked........GrinGrinGrinGrin
A magic capture colour and detail. Well done Colleen.
16 Sep 2013 8:27AM
''...They have been described as the most hideous birds in the world...''
Maybe God was in a bad mood when he created them ...?WinkLol
Good shot, Coleen!Smile
Regards Valery
16 Sep 2013 8:29AM
Lovely capture of this rare bird Colleen
16 Sep 2013 8:30AM
Vulture is korppikotka in Finnish,but i think you cant never meet a vulture in Finland,so this is very interesting,especiallywith all the facts that you told us ,Colleen! Very well done, thanks !GrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrin ----- Sunset Jukka.Tongue
jdinne 15 16 England
16 Sep 2013 9:13AM
He looks a bit mean to me Colleen, great capture and wonderful narrative.

johnlw 11 1 10 United Kingdom
16 Sep 2013 9:23AM
Very nice capture of this fellow ColleenSmile
Regards John.
16 Sep 2013 9:31AM
Wonderful capture Colleen . cracking detail
morpheus1955 11 3 2 United Kingdom
16 Sep 2013 9:50AM
Brilliant shot, excellent detail and colours

rontear Plus
15 8 8 England
16 Sep 2013 10:04AM
Vultures are threatened worldwide Colleen, a very good on the floor image of this rare species.
16 Sep 2013 10:26AM
Super shot like it a lot well done!Smile
16 Sep 2013 10:33AM
hmm a real muggly brute Colleen well captured

16 Sep 2013 10:43AM
Lovely capture of this bird Colleen.
Irishkate Plus
7 41 114 United Kingdom
16 Sep 2013 12:29PM
Fascinating facts about this not so pretty bird.
It's wonderful that you can observe and understand bird/animal behaviour.
16 Sep 2013 12:30PM
Great capture Colleen.

Jenny Smile
16 Sep 2013 12:30PM
I love vultures, this one is gorgeous!
mikbee 11 3 8 Scotland
16 Sep 2013 12:55PM
He looks quite well fed Colleen,
so not surprised he is just watching the feast !!
Good shot.
NDODS 7 5.1k 125 United Kingdom
16 Sep 2013 3:21PM
When it came to giving out good looks this m pure chap was right at the end of the queue...

Although he has been very well photographed Colleen

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin
jdenman 9 18 5 Spain
16 Sep 2013 3:26PM
Beautiful birds to see in the wild, am a little green with envy Smile Do get the Egyptian Vulture around our part of Spain and some really cool wildlife, but there would be heaven for any wildlife photographer. Love your images, you capture their beauty so well.........John
TrevBatWCC Plus
9 12 12 England
16 Sep 2013 3:29PM
Not the prettiest of birds, but a super capture, Colleen! Smile
Trev Smile
16 Sep 2013 3:49PM
Fabulous capture, Colleen!
16 Sep 2013 3:57PM
That is some bird Colleen. Love the write up. Cathy
ali63 Plus
6 775 1 United Kingdom
16 Sep 2013 3:59PM
Well captured Colleen.

Ali Smile
Mike_Smith Plus
10 482 1 United Kingdom
16 Sep 2013 4:30PM
Nice shot Colleen, so these are in decline in your area thats not many pairs left
SUE118 Plus
9 8 1 United Kingdom
16 Sep 2013 5:29PM
Lovely capture.
capto Plus
6 5.2k 8 United Kingdom
16 Sep 2013 5:47PM
Great info. I don't think I have seen a shot of one of these before, so well done.Smile

16 Sep 2013 5:56PM
It is a sad situation in India Vultures almost gone. Due to extensive use of Diclofenac injection to cattle's.
16 Sep 2013 7:18PM
Great shot and presentation, Colleen.

9 10 10 England
16 Sep 2013 8:57PM
He looks rather handsome Colleen - a great image.
richmowil Plus
9 352 2 England
16 Sep 2013 10:21PM
Super capture Colleen!!
Potra 5 Venezuela
25 Sep 2013 10:06PM
First time I have seen this kind of vulture, the mask is scary...

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