Thursday, 21 November 2013

137. Rüppell's Griffon Vulture (Gyps rueppellii)

Rüppell's Griffon Vulture looks somewhat like the Eurasian Griffon, but is a bit smaller and is covered in dense pale speckling. It is not generally found in Europe - its usual range is sub-Saharan Africa - but sometimes juveniles do stray north to Spain. They are a more uniform dark brown with a pale line on the underwing near the front - visible in the adult in the photo (adults also develop more, narrower pale bars). On the rare occasions that they do venture into Spain, Rüppell's Griffons tend to associate with Eurasian Griffons.

Depending on what you read, Rüppell's Griffon is the world's highest flying bird - other sources say it's the Bar-headed goose. The case for Rüppell's Griffon seems more persuasive though, apparently one was sucked into a jet engine at 11 km in 1973!

Rüppell's Griffon Vulture, ©Rainbirder, via Flickr Creative Commons.

Rüppell's Griffon Vulture painting.
Hmm, a bit chunky and again I have had problems with the intricately patterned plumage on the body. I often feel like if I had more time, I could do a proper job, but normally end up bodging it! That's the trouble with a self-imposed time limit!

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