Himalayan Griffon

The Himalayan Griffon (Gyps himalayensis) is a large bird of prey, a raptor, and an accipiter. It is a vulture. It is also known as the Himalayan Griffon Vulture. It is related to the Eurasian Griffon (Gyps fulvus). 

The Himalayan Griffon has a long, spiky, pale-brown ruff around its neck with white streaks. Its head has pale blue skin, covered with soft, yellowish down feathers. Its underside and underwings are pale-brown or buff-coloured. Its legs are feathered, and its feet can be greenish-grey to white. Its upperbody is pale and unstreaked with contrasting dark-brown wings. It has a grey, hooked beak, and small, orange-brown eyes. 

Himalayan Griffon

It measures 93-122 centimetres (37-48 inches) tall with a 230-280 centimetre (90-110 inches). 

The Himalayan Griffon is native to the Himalaya mountains, the Tibetan Plateau, and Kazakhstan in Central Asia.   

It is a scavenger, feeding on the carrion (meat) of carcasses (dead bodies) of animals. 

The Himalayan Griffon is seen in flocks. 

It nests in cliffs. The nest is made of sticks. The female lays one egg. Both parents sit on the egg until it is hatched, after 54-58 days. The chick is born altricial, which means that it is featherless at birth. It gains all of its feathers after 85-90 days after hatching. 

The Himalayan Griffon lives, on average, for 40 years.

Himalayan Griffon

[Location of photographs: Dushanbe Zoo, Tajikistan]

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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