Tuesday, 26 November 2013

138. Cinereous Vulture (Aegypius monachus)

Cinereous Vultures are also known as Eurasian Black Vultures, or just Black Vultures, but to avoid confusion with the American Black Vulture, I think I will stick with Cinereous! These vultures are very rare in Europe, with most of the population in Spain, and some in Bulgaria, Portugal, Greece and Turkey with a small reintroduced population in France. They appear very dark-plumaged, especially the juvenile which also has a dark head. In flight their wings are broad, long-fingered and more evenly-proportioned than the Eurasian Griffon Vulture's, with no bulges. When soaring it holds its wings flat with the primaries slightly lowered, which helps tell it apart from the Griffon, and when it comes in to land it keeps its feet in and often holds its tail up, whereas other large vultures tend to dangle their legs down. Cinereous Vultures are found in remote, arid mountainous areas and extensive lowland forests with rocky outcrops and hills.

Cinereous Vulture, ©Joachim S. Müller, via Flickr Creative Commons.
Cinereous Vulture painting.
No paintings/drawings over the weekend as I was away at ATP, good times were had, good bands were seen and not only did I have some nice birding time on the beach, there were bonus birds to be had from the train to London - everything was knackered at New Street station (from where we'd originally planned to travel) so we went over to Moor Street instead and took the Chiltern Line. SO MANY Red Kites, brilliant!

I quite like my Cinereous Vulture, it's not exactly spot on but it has a certain haughty air.

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