Hooded Vulture

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Common Name: Hooded Vulture
Scientific Name: Necrosyrtes monachus

Size: 25-28 inches (62–72 cm); Wingspan: 61-65 inches (155-165 cm)

Habitat: Africa; widespread in sub-Saharan Africa; from Senegal and southern Mauritania east through southern Niger and Chad, to southern Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia and western Somalia, southwards to northern Namibia and Botswana, and through Zimbabwe to southern Mozambique and north-eastern South Africa.

The species is often associated with human settlements, but is also found in open grassland, forest edge, wooded savanna, the desert and along coasts. It occurs up to 4,000 m, but is most numerous below 1,800 m.

Status: Endangered. Global Population: 197,000 mature individuals. This species’ population is estimated to be undergoing a decline equivalent to at least 50% over the last 50+ years. Major threats to this species include non-target poisoning, capture for traditional medicine and bushmeat, and direct persecution. Hooded Vulture meat is reportedly sold as chicken in some places.

Intentional poisoning of vultures may be carried out in some areas by poachers in order to hide the locations of their kills. Secondary poisoning with carbofuran pesticides at livestock baits being used to poison mammalian predators is also an issue in East. Declines have also been attributed to land conversion through development and improvements to abattoir hygiene and rubbish disposal in some areas. The species may also be threatened by avian influenza (H5N1), from which it appears to suffer some mortality and which it probably acquires from feeding on discarded dead poultry. No targeted conservation actions are known but this widespread species does occur in a large number of protected areas.

Diet: Feeds mainly on carrion, but also takes insects.

Nesting: A typical vulture, with a bald pink head and a greyish “hood”. It has fairly uniform dark brown body plumage. It is a small species compared to most vultures.

It breeds in a stick nest in trees (often palms) in much of Africa south of the Sahara, laying one egg. Birds may form loose colonies. In West Africa and Kenya it breeds throughout the year, but especially from November to July. Breeding in north-east Africa occurs mainly in October-June, with birds in southern Africa tending to breed in May-December. It is an arboreal nester and lays a clutch of one egg. Its incubation period lasts 46-54 days, followed by a fledging period of 80-130 days. Young are dependent on their parents for a further 3-4 months after fledging.

Cool Facts: If these birds are disturbed when at their nest, they utter a squealing cry of "MAMA MAMA".

Found in Songbird Remix Vultures2

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