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R?ppell's Vulture | Gyps rueppellii

The R?ppell's 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 R?ppell's Vulture (Latin name Gyps rueppellii) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Gyps rueppellii can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of and the detailed description of this bird is on page 489. You will find a picture of the R?ppell's 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.

This bird is known as R?ppell's Griffon in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the R?ppell's Vulture between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The R?ppell's Vulture has a height of 1200 cms and weighs around 9500 gms. The head is coloured white while the bill is coloured black. The Gyps rueppellii has a white coloured throat, black legs and a white coloured back. The eyes are yellow.

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 white

Eyes are yellow

Bill is black

Legs are black

Throat is white

Back is white

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

The Gyps rueppellii attacks its prey aerially and feeds on wing or takes the prey to a secluded venue where it is killed, torn into small pieces and eaten

This bird hunts for small reptiles such as lizards, geckos and bush snakes. The R?ppell's Vulture strikes poisonous snakes on the head with one fatal blow which kills the snake instantly. There have been cases were this bird has been killed by a snake while hunting. Some birds have been blinded by Cobra venom.

The Gyps rueppellii attacks smaller birds in flight and uses its sharp claws to break the bird's neck. Some of the birds are attacked in their nests while others are killed on the ground. The R?ppell's Vulture eats the eggs of its victim.

The diet includes small mammals such as rabbits, field mice and other rodents. Rodents are usually taken from the ground and killed using the sharp claws. The R?ppell's Vulture uses its hard bill to tear up the flesh.

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The R?ppell's 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 2 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 bird is found in the African bushveld

This bird is very common in most of the Southern African Forests

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

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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