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King vulture

June 25, 2020

The King Vulture (Sarcoramphus papa) is also known as the condor of the jungle, royal condor, king vulture.

It is a carnivorous animal; it is a scavenger bird of the cathartidae family, which feeds on dead animals, which it perceives with its highly developed sight and smell.


Where does the Zopilote or king vulture live?

It inhabits tropical forests and is widely distributed from southern Mexico to Argentina, passing through the entire Amazon basin.

Flight of the Urubu or King Vulture
Urubu or King Vulture
Renato Augusto Martins / CC BY-SA

It lives near bodies of water, as it needs to consume a lot of water to survive. His body is picturesque and even elegant. Its body plumage is mostly white, with soft shades of pink and yellow.

King vulture characteristics

It has a size of 67 to 81 cm, and weighs about 3, 4 kg. It is the third largest bird in the Americas. It can live in captivity for about 30 years.

Wing and tail feathers are almost black. Its head and neck lack feathers. The skin has shades of purple and red on the head, orange on the neck and yellow on the throat.

Sarcoramphus papa in the Chorros de Milla Zoo - Venezuela
Sarcoramphus papa in the Chorros de Milla Zoo – Venezuela
George Miquilena (public domain)

It has a very noticeable crest on top of its beak.

Behavior and reproduction of the King Vulture

It is not a migratory bird. Lives solitary or in small family groups.

It nests in tree hollows, where the female lays a single egg at a time. It has almost no predators, except for certain animals such as the jaguar and the snake.

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