Cinereous Vulture

Aegypius monachus

Scientific Name

Cinereous Vulture:  
Aegypius monachus

Distribution and Habitat

Geographic Range

These vultures are found in areas of Spain, the Himalayas of India and Tibet, east to northeast of Mongolia and also in the Sudan.  They may migrate to Southern China and Northern India and also have been sighted on Mount Everest at altitudes of up to 23,000 feet.

Natural Habitat

This bird typically lives in mountainous regions.

Physical Characteristics

  • This vulture’s general coloring is dark brown and chocolate.  They have a featherless head featuring a dark brown plumage with bluish gray skin on the head, neck and legs.  Their broad wings may reach a wingspan of up to ten feet.  A powerful hooked beak aids them in tearing through the tendons and skin of carrion (the rotting flesh of a dead animal).  Strong large feet with blunt talons are used for grasping and holding on to the carcasses.  These vultures may weigh as much as 28 pounds.

Quick Facts

  1. They have excellent eyesight which assists them with locating prey from great distances.

  2. They have a life span of more than 38 years.

  3. They are one of the most unsociable, cantankerous and shy vultures.


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Conservation Status

Near Threatened: The Cinereous Vulture survival of the wildlife in the wild is affected to an extent that the wildlife is in danger of becoming vulnerable or endangered in the near future.

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They mainly feed on medium to large sized carrion and may also dine on lizards & tortoises.  In captivity they are fed a commercial meat based diet, rats or mice.