713. EGYPTIAN VULTURE.
Neophron percnopterus (Linn.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 123 (1766) ; (Naum.) i. p. 170, Taf. 3 ; (Hewitson), i. p. 5. pl. 2 ; Gould, B. of E. i. pl. 3 ; Newton, i. p. 6 ; Dresser, v. p. 391, pl. 322 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. i. p. 17 ; Blanford, F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iii. p. 327 ; Saunders, p. 313 ; Lilford, i. p. 83, pl. 40.
Vautour d'Egypte, French ; Abutre, Portug. ; Alimocho, Span. ; Capovaccajo, Ital. ; Schmutziger Aasvogel, German ; Stervatnik, Russ. ; Rakhma, Arab. ; Rekhoma, Moor. ; Ak-baba, Turk. ; Kusgun, Tartar.
Male ad. (Spain). General colour white, tinged with creamy buff ; fore¬part of the head and throat bare ; feathers on the occiput and back of the neck elongated, lanceolate, tinged with creamy buff ; primaries blackish margined with greyish buff on the outer web ; secondaries varied, dark brown and buff ; tail white ; bare part of the head yellow ; beak yellow at the base, otherwise dusky blackish ; legs and feet dark flesh-colour, claws black ; iris deep red. Culmen 2.8, wing 19.2, tail 10.0, tarsus 3.4 inch. Sexes alike. The young bird is blackish brown, the feathers tipped with fulvous, the bare part of the head with scattered blackish brown tufts ; bare portions of the head livid ; bill dusky yellowish at the base legs livid greyish ; iris brown.
Hab. Southern Europe, of rare occurrence north of the Alps ; has twice occurred in England ; Madeira, the Canaries, and Cape Verde Islands ; Africa south to the Cape of Good Hope; Asia east to Western India. There it meets with N. ginginianus, which replaces it further east, and which is distinguishable by having the bill entirely yellow, and being smaller in size.
Like its allies it is a carrion feeder, and as nothing is too offensive for its palate it is, in southern climes, a most useful scavenger. Except when collected round a carcase it is usually to be seen singly or in pairs, never in flocks, and it likewise breeds in scattered pairs. Its nest, which is generally placed on a cliff, seldom on a tree, is a clumsy structure of sticks and grass, lined with grass, rags, or any other available soft material, and its eggs, 2 in number, occasionally however only 1, are deposited in April or May, and are richly blotched with rusty red or dark red on a white or yellowish white ground, and in size average 2.57 by 2.01.
713. Neophron percnopterus
713. EGYPTIAN VULTURE.