Gyps fulvescens

Gyps fulvescens, Hume.

3 bis. :- Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. III, p. 442 ; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 63 ; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India ; Ibis, 1885, p. 53 ; Hume's Scrap Book, p. 19.


Length, 41 to 47 ; expanse, 94 to 106 ; wing, 27 to 29'5; tail (of 14 feathers), 12 to 13-5 ; tarsus, 3'88 to 42 ; bill from gape, 3 to 3'2 ; weight, 12 to 18 lbs.

The top of the head, cheeks, chin and throat are covered with dingy yellowish-white hair-like feathers, so closely set upon the top of the head, chin and throat, and with such an admixture of brown that the dark skin, which in the hill bird(G. himalayensis) shows so plainly through the scant covering, is, in this species, completely hidden. The nape and the whole of the neck (except the back and side of the basal one-fifth or less, which are bare or nearly bare), are closely covered with dense, short, fur-like white or dingy yellowish-white down. The crop-patch is about the same color as in the hill bird, but somewhat more rufous, and the whole of the rest of the plumage is a far more rufous, and deeper fawn or buffy-brown than in 0. himalayensis. The lower plumage is in the adult of a rich rufous-brown, bay, or even dull-chesnut, conspicuously white shafted, whilst the mantle is a warm sandy-brown, unlike the coloring of any of our other Indian Vultures. The feathers of the ruff are almost linear, (the web not so much separated as in the hill bird; usually of a warm wood-brown or rufous-fawn, the feathers conspicuously paler centred. The upper back, the whole of the upper wing-coverts and all but the longest scapulars are a warm wood-brown, or brownish rufous-fawn, yellower and sandier, in some deeper and more of a bay color in others. The secondaries, tertials and longer scapulars, umber (but not dark-umber) brown ; the latter (viz. the longer scapulars) more or less tipped with the rufous or sandy color of the upper back, which color, in some specimens, more or less extends to the tips and outer webs of the tertiaries. Lower back, rump, and upper tail-coverts the same color as the Upper back, but of a considerably lighter tint, in some mingled with brown, and in some altogether of a pale pure bay. The primaries and tail-feathers are very dark brown ; in some not so dark as the corresponding feathers in G. himalayensis, but in others of an intense chocolate-brown. Lower, parts a rich sandy or rufous, or even a deep bay, (the tint varies in different stages of plumage) each feather conspicuously paler shafted, and most of them (in the younger birds) conspicuously, though narrowly, paler centred. :- Hume, " Rough Notes."

The Bay Vulture does not occur in the Deccan or South Mahratta country, but is not uncommon in Central India, Guzerat, and Sind. Of its nidification, little appears to be known : it is said to breed during January and February, building a large platform nest on lofty trees, and laying a single white egg, larger than either calvus or bengalensis.

Handbook to the Birds of the Bombay Presidency
Barnes, Henry Edwin. Handbook to the birds of the Bombay Presidency, 1885.
Title in Book: 
Gyps fulvescens
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Barnes, H. Edwin
Page No: 
Common name: 
Bay Vulture
Gyps fulvus fulvescens
Term name: 

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