Egyptian Vulture

Conservation status


Population Trend


Alternate Names

Indian Scavenger Vulture, White Scavenger Vulture

Native Habitat

Grassland, Semi-desert


Carrion, Vegetable matter


Egyptian Vulture

Neophron percnopterus

The Egyptian vulture is widely distributed; found from southwestern Europe and northern Africa to India. The contrasting underwing pattern and wedge-shaped tail make it distinctive in flight as it soars in thermals during the warmer parts of the day. Egyptian vultures feed mainly on carrion but are opportunistic and will prey on small mammals, birds, and reptiles. They also feed on the eggs of other birds, breaking larger ones by tossing a large pebble onto them. The use of tools is rare in birds and apart from the use of a pebble as a hammer, Egyptian vultures also use twigs to roll up wool for use in their nest.

Egyptian vultures that breed in the temperate regions migrate south in winter while tropical populations are relatively sedentary. Populations of this species have declined in the 20th century and some island populations are endangered by hunting, accidental poisoning, and collision with power lines.

Regional Names
  • Bengali:
    ধলা শকুন
  • Bhojpuri:
    मिश्रदेशी गिद्ध
  • Gujarati:
    ખેરો ગીધ, સફેદ ગીધ
  • Hindi:
    सफ़ेद गिद्ध, गोबर गिद्ध
  • Malayalam:
  • Marathi:
    पांढरे गिधाड, सर्वाशनी गिधाड
  • Nepali:
    सेतो गिद्ध
  • Punjabi:
    ਚਿੱਟੀ ਗਿੱਧ, ਮਿਸਰੀ ਗਿੱਧ
  • Tamil:
    எகிப்திய பிணந்தின்னிக் கழுகு
  • Telugu:
    తెల్ల రాబందు
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Neophron percnopterus

Quick Facts
  • It is the smallest of all vultures.
  • It was worshiped by pharaohs in Egypt because of its ability to remove garbage and remaining of dead animals. For this reason, Egyptian Vulture is also known as "Pharaoh's Chicken".