Tuesday, 19 November 2013

136. Eurasian Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus)

Eurasian Griffon Vultures are found in mountainous areas of the Mediterranean, Turkey and the Caucasus; the majority of the European population is in Spain. They are very large and are often seen soaring and circling in loose flocks around mountains; they also nest colonially. Like all the vultures they mainly feed on carrion. In flight their wings appear very broad with long 'fingers'; the secondaries are often long and the primaries indented, so that the outline of the wing bulges nearer the body. The pale head, lighter brown coverts and body, and darker flight feathers are not always visible against strong light. The flight is very slow and heavy with deep wingbeats; when soaring the wings are slightly raised in a shallow V, however when gliding the wings are held in a more arched or flatter position. The neck is retracted in flight, like in all vultures.

Eurasian Griffon Vulture, ©Georg Sander (GS1311), via Flickr Creative Commons.
Eurasian Griffon Vulture painting.

Who says vultures are ugly, look at this handsome fellow! Admittedly my painting has somehow turned out looking a bit friendlier than the photo, it's not the most realistic representation but I quite like it. You can probably tell I spent longer on the head than the rest of the body, I ran out of time. Now I'm off to bed as I'm all bunged up with a cold at the moment, bleurgh!

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