"Feathers" joined the centre in March 2010. The Himalayan Vulture (or Himalayan Griffon Vulture) is the second largest species of Old World Vulture.

She is now the largest bird housed at the centre. She was hatched in captivity in Europe in 2008 and we believe her to be the only Himalayan Vulture in the UK. Feathers is housed in an aviary near the flying arena as she is simply too big and heavy to be carried anywhere!

In the wild

Origin: Mountains of south-central Asia: Himalayas in north Pakistan, India, Nepal through Tibet into central China; in west of range through northeast enclave of Afghanistan into former Russian and Chinese Turkestan.

Diet: Exclusively carrion: forages by soaring singly and searching for carcases or watching activities of ground predators and other aerial scavengers.

The Himalayan Griffon is the dominant in its range except where Cinereous Vulture (European Black Vulture) which is the largest species of Old World Vulture.

Habitat: Open mountains, gorges, high steppes and plateaux; sometimes lower valleys. Mostly 1,200m to 4,500m, but foraging to at least 6,000, amd at least juveniles regularly recorded wintering down to 175m.

Conservation: The Himalayan Vulture seems to unaffected by the problems with other Gpysvultures on the Indian sub-continent. They are classified as 'Least Concern' by the IUCN.

SPECIES FACTFILE

LENGTH: 103-110cm

WINGSPAN: 260-289cm

WEIGHT: 8.0 - 12.0kg

EGGS IN CLUTCH: 1

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