Palm-nut Vulture

Gypohierax angolensis

Habitat and Geographic Distribution: Tropical forests, mangroves, coastal areas, savannahs and human-altered areas. Associated with oil palm and raffia palm areas.  Widely distributed throughout the African continent south of the Sahara, from Gambia to Kenya and from southern to north-eastern South Africa.

Diet: Mainly palm fruits such as from the oil palm and the raffia palm. Also feed on crabs, molluscs, frogs, fish, grasshoppers, small mammals and carrion.

Reproduction: Build large nests with twigs and palm leaves on top of tall trees. Lay just one egg that is incubated by both parents for 4-6 weeks. Chicks take start to fly 85-90 days after hatching.

Behaviour: At the beginning of the breeding season couples perform aerial acrobatics and diving, these displays are much more daring compared to that of other species of vultures.

Interesting Facts:  He is the smallest Old World vulture and is one of the few birds of prey that regularly consumes plant substance. Although not depending on thermal currents, he reaches high altitudes during flight and is often active in the early morning.

Conservation status: Least Concern (LC), CITES Appendix II.

Threats: Habitat loss.


Class: Aves

Order: Accipitriformes

Family: Accipitridae

Length: 57-65 cm

Wingspan: 1.35-1.55 cm

Weight: 1.20-1.80 kg

Average lifespan in the wild: 17 years

Maximum lifespan in captivity: 27 years

Other animals in Carnivorous Birds