Palm-Nut Vulture

The Palm-Nut Vulture (Gypohierax angolensis) is a bird of prey, a raptor, and an accipiter. It is also known as the Vulturine Fish Eagle. It is related to the buzzard and the eagle.

The Palm-Nut Vulture is all white except for black areas in its wings and tail. It has a red patch around each eye. Its eyes are yellow and its beak is pale-grey.

Palm-Nut Vulture

Palm-Nut Vulture

It measures about 60 centimetres (24 inches) tall, with a wingspan of 150 centimetres (59 inches). It is one of the smallest vultures in the world.

The Palm-Nut Vulture is native to the coastal areas of sub-Saharan Africa, in countries from the Gambia in the west to Kenya in the east and South Africa in the south. It prefers palm trees, coastal forests, mangrove swamps, and wet savannahs. It likes to be near water.

It feeds on fruit from palm trees. It also eats crabs, molluscs, frogs, fish, locusts, grasshoppers, small mammals, turtle eggs, and carrion (the meat of dead animals).

The Palm-Nut Vulture makes a large stick nest high in a tall tree. The female lays one egg. Both parents sit on the egg until it is hatched, after 4-6 weeks.

The chick gains all of its flight feathers 85-90 days after hatching. The chick is brown with yellow eye patches until it gains its white adult feathers.

Palm-Nut Vulture

Palm-Nut Vulture

Palm-Nut Vulture (juvenile)

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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