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Griffon vulture


Common name Griffon vulture
Scientific name Gyps fulvus
Type Cliff-nesting birds
Status Resident

Predatory bird of unmistakable appearance, large size (approx 115 cm or 4 ft) and large wingspan (approx 250 cm or 8 ft). Soaring bird in flight, short tail and long, broad wings with tips ending in widely separated "toes" (ends of primary remige feathers). Plumage in general in greyish brown colour with somewhat paler back area. The remige feathers are dark, giving an almost black appearance to the rear end of the wings. It has a characteristic neck covered with white or cream down (which in the juveniles is dark) adorned with a sort of necklace of down on its base of the same colour. The bill is thick and powerful. Legs with naked tarsi.


Rocky environments

Where it lives

Present in rocky gorges, mountain areas and river canyons near open or pasture areas with the presence of cattle. However, due to its large range area it can appear in many types of habitats.

How it lives

Species resident all year round in Malaga, although the young hatched in the year carry out important dispersive movements, even crossing to Africa. They are colonial birds that begin their breeding in mid-January, making an annual laying of a single egg in a nest located on a rocky cliff. The couple is faithful throughout their lives. It is a scavenger bird that feeds on the remains of livestock and wildlife, especially large ungulates. Also present in landfill sites.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

Usual and frequent bird in the province. There are vulture colonies in Sierra Tejeda, Sierra Crestellina, Sierra de Líbar, Garganta de las Buitreras (El Colmenar-Cortes de la Frontera), Sierra de las Nieves, Huma and el Chorro, among others. The observatories and/or rubbish tips of Sierra de las Nieves, Cortes de la Frontera, Sierra Bermeja and Sierra de la Sanguijuela are of interest. In the Great Path it can be watched in stages 7, 9, 11, 12, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29, among others.

Curious facts

Griffon vultures have accompanied the man since he adopted livestock habits, fulfilling an important sanitary mission and cleaning the mountain. At present, the reduction of the number of extensive cattle and the regulation at the time of the elimination of corpses have linked them to the rubbish tips and controlled feeders, where the rest of the dead game and cattle are collected.

Similar birds
Wintering Summer Resident Migration