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White-backed Vulture | Gyps africanus

The White-backed Vulture is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Accipitridae bird family group which includes birds such as Raptors, Old Vultures, Osprey.

The description for the White-backed Vulture (Latin name Gyps africanus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Gyps africanus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 123 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 488. You will find a picture of the White-backed Vulture on page 481.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the White-backed Vulture between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The White-backed Vulture is known in Afrikaans as Witrugaasvo?l.

The White-backed Vulture has a height of 100 cms and weighs around 5500 gms. The head is coloured grey while the bill is coloured grey, black. The Gyps africanus has a blue, grey coloured throat, grey, black legs and a grey coloured back. The eyes are brown.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is grey

Eyes are brown

Bill is grey, black

Legs are grey, black

Throat is blue, grey

Back is grey

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

This bird is a well known scavenger and rarely kills its own prey.

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The White-backed Vulture is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 1 eggs and they are coloured white.

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foligae.

The White-backed Vulture is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is found in the arid and semi-arid regions of Southern Africa and it can withstand high day and night temperatures

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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