714. Bearded Vulture.
Gypaetus barbatus (Linn.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 123 (1766) ; Naum. i. p. 180, Taf. 4, 5 ; Gould, B. of E. i. pl. 4 ; Dresser, v. p. 401, pls. 323, 324, 325 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. i. p. 228 ; Blanf. F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iii. p. 328.
Gypaete des Alpes, French ; Quebranta-huesos, Span. ; Avvoltojo barbuto, Ital. ; Lammergeier, German ; Jagnjatnik, Russ. ; Tochligoturan, Tartar ; Bou-lachiah, Arab. ; Argul, Hindu.
Male ad. (Spain). Crown and neck creamy white washed with rust- colour ; bristles on the chin, lores, and a broad line passing over and round the eye deep black ; upper parts blackish grey with a metallic gloss, the upper back and wing-coverts with a yellowish central line on the feathers ; quills blackish grey washed with slate-grey ; tail slate-grey margined with blackish brown, and wedge-shaped ; under partis rich light rusty yellow, the throat and neck washed with rusty red ; bill bluish horn, blackish at the tip ; feet plumbeous ; iris pale orange, the sclerotic membrane blood-red. Culmen 3.8, wing 31.0, tail 20.0, tarsus 4.1 inch. Sexes alike. The young bird of the year has the head, neck, and upper parts blackish brown, and the under parts dull rufous buff or brownish grey.
Hab. The mountains of Southern Europe and North Africa ; is still found in the French and Spanish Pyrenees, but is nearly if not quite extinct in the Alps and Tyrol ; Bosnia, Greece, Turkey, the Caucasus, and Asia Minor ; the Himalaya as fur east as Sikhim ; North China, Tibet, Mongolia, and Dauria.
Inhabits the higher mountain ranges, and is solitary in its habits. It feeds on carrion, refuse, etc., like the Vultures, and though it is said to attack lambs and kids and even goats and chamois, it is doubtful if this is the case, except when the animal is weakly or in a dying state ; it is a cowardly bird, and will allow itself to be bullied by a Falcon not a fourth of its size. Its note is a feeble, querulous cry. It breeds in the high mountains in a cave or on a shelf of the cliff, its nest being a bulky structure of sticks, etc., lined with wool, hair, or any soft material, and from the end of December to May, according to locality, it deposits 2 eggs, dull yellowish or rusty orange in colour, measuring about 3.18 by 2.47.
714. GypAetus barbatus
714. Bearded Vulture.