1190. Vultur monachus.
The Cinereous Vulture.
Vultur monachus, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 122 (1766); Blyth, Cat. p. 32; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 1; Jerdon, B. I. i, p. 6; id. His, 1871, p. 234; Hume, Rough Notes, p. 1; A. Anderson, P. Z. S. 1871, p. 675 ; Adam, S. F. i, p. 367 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. i, p. 3; Butler, S. F. iii, p. 441; v, p. 226; Blanford, S. F. v, p. 245; Hume, S. F. vii, p. 321; id. Cat. no. 1; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 217 ; Barnes, S. F. ix, pp. 214, 450; C. H. T. Marshall, Ibis, 1884, p. 405; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 2 ; St. John, Ibis, 1889, p. 149.
Great Brown Vulture, Jerdon; Kala-gidh, H.; Gut panom, Lepcha.
Coloration. Blackish brown throughout, with, in freshly moulted plumage, a ruddy gloss on the mantle ; under surface sometimes darker than upper; quills and tail almost black, occiput and lower tail-coverts paler. Young birds are paler and browner.
Bill blackish brown; cere pale mauve; irides brown; naked skin of neck livid flesh-colour; legs and feet creamy or pearl-white.
Length about 42 inches; tail 17; wing 30; tarsus 5.
Distribution. Southern Europe, Northern Africa, and eastward through South-western Asia and parts of Central Asia to India and China. In India this bird is resident in Afghanistan and the Himalayas, and visits North-western India in the cold season, having been observed in the Punjab, Sind, North-west Provinces, and Oude, Guzerat near Ahmedabad, Mhow, and Saugor. It ranges in the Himalayas as far east as Bhutan.
Habits, &c. Those of the family. The nesting does not appear to have been recorded within Indian limits, though there can be no doubt that this bird breeds in the Himalayas. In Europe it breeds about February or March, sometimes on cliffs, more often in trees; builds a huge nest of sticks, and lays a single egg (very rarely two) richly marked with dark red, and measuring about 3.7 by 2.6.
Head and neck bare, without any down in adults; a wattle of skin on each side of the neck behind the ear; ruff very small; bare neck extending farther down than in Vultur, to which genus the present is very similar.
Two species, one African, the other Indian.