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Palm-nut Vulture
132895117.vDOdOUwu. 50C7793
Information
Common Name Vulturine Fish Eagle
Range Sub-Saharan Africa
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Accipitriformes
Family Accipitridae
Genus Gypohierax
Species Gypohierax angolensis
Conservation Status
LCSpecies
Least Concern

The Palm-nut vulture or vulturine fish eagle (Gypohierax angolensis), is a species large Old World vulture in the Accipitridae family. It is the only member of the genus Gypohierax. Unusual for birds of prey, it feeds mainly on the fruit of the oil palm, though it also feeds on crabs, molluscs, locusts, fish and has been known to occasionally attack domestic poultry and bats.

It breeds in forest and savannah across Sub-Saharan Africa, usually near water, its range coinciding with that of the oil palm. It is quite approachable, like many African vultures, and can be seen near habitation, even on large hotel lawns in the tourist areas of countries like the Gambia.

Description

This is an unmistakable bird as an adult. At 1.3–1.7 kg (2.9–3.7 lb), 60 cm (24 in) long and 150 cm (59 in) across the wings, this is the smallest Old World vulture. Its plumage is all white except for black areas in its wings. It has a red patch around the eye. The immature, which takes 3–4 years to mature, is brown with a yellow eye patch. In flight this species resembles an eagle more than a typical vulture, and it can sustain flapping flight, so it does not depend on thermals.

Nesting

Birds may form loose colonies. A single egg is incubated in a bulky stick nest in a tree for about six weeks.

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