Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on google
Share on telegram
Share on whatsapp
Share on email
Share on digg
Share on reddit

The Griffon Vulture

Wildlife of Israel

The Griffon Vulture is an Old World vulture scavenging birds, feeding mostly from carcasses of dead animals. Old World vultures find carcasses exclusively by sight. A particular characteristic of many vultures is a semi-bald head, sometimes without feathers or with just simple down. Historically, it was thought that this was due to feeding habits, as feathers would be glued with decaying flesh and blood. However, more recent studies have shown that it is actually a thermoregulatory adaptation to avoid facial overheating; the presence or absence of complex feathers seems to matter little in feeding habits, as some vultures are quite raptorial. 



More About the Griffon Vulture 

The bird of prey has a body length of about 93–122 cm; with a wingspan of up to 2.8 meters (9.2 feet) and weighing up to 8 kilograms. In-flight, The Griffon Vulture can reach speeds of up to 140 km / h. The color of its feathers is brown-gray (darker colors for the chicks). Its head and upper part of its neck are covered with a very thin plumage. Further down the neck is a white plumage.

Its tail and feathers are blackened. Its legs are short and strong, with curved claws. As he walks on the ground his footsteps are heavy and when he escapes; he spreads his wings and runs in leaps. The beak of The Griffon Vulture is strong, long, broad, and hook-shaped at its upper end. Part of the esophagus is used as a goiter, for occasional food storage. His vision is very sharp and has excellent sights; he is able to distinguish food from a height of hundreds of meters and from a distance of many kilometers.

His Habitat

The Griffon Vulture inhabits a variety of landscapes; from deserts to mountainous landscapes. It erects its nest mostly in rocky areas. It usually finds its prey in open areas for the purpose of quickly locating food from the air. The Griffon Vulture is a sociable bird of prey. The female Griffon Vulture usually lays a single egg and incubates it for about 54 days. The lifespan of a Griffon Vulture in captivity is up to 41.4 years.



Today in the Land of Israel, the population of Griffon Vulture is about 147 individuals (as of April 2019); 110 in the Negev, and 37 in the Carmel and Golan Heights; the number does not include the chicks in the nests. In recent years, the Griffon Vulture population has suffered from a significant reduction; due to poisoning; reduced food sources, electrocution from power lines, and disturbance in nesting places. There is a consistent decrease of about 7% per year in the population. According to the “Red Book of Vertebrates in Israel”, The Griffon Vulture is at regional risk and its future in Israel is in danger. 

On my tours, I show my guests where we can find the Griffon Vulture. For example up north at Mt. Carmel. If not in the wild which is a little hard to spot one with some patience so at the Hai-Bar Carmel Nature Reserve! Or if you’re down south on the way to Eilat so you can see some at Yotvata Hai-Bar Nature Reserve.  

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on google
Share on telegram
Share on whatsapp
Share on email
Share on digg
Share on reddit
apt-stamp-white@2x
arik-about

Hi! My name is Arik Haglili, an Israeli native who decided to dedicate his life to share my knowledge about the Holy Land to those that are interested to know more about this amazing piece of land. My career as a private tour guide started at the International School For the Studying of the Holocaust and the rest is history.

Did you know the Hoopoe is Israel's national bird?! For more cool info about Israel, join our ever growing community and get exclusive travel tips, and giveaways!

RELATED POSTS

Nubian Ibex

The Nubian ibex (Capra nubiana) is a desert-dwelling goat species found in mountainous areas like the Judaean Desert and the Negev. The wild population is ...

The Fauna of Israel

The Fauna of Israel is extremely diverse in spite of Israel being a very small country in Size. There are a couple of reasons for ...

Wildlife In The Arava Valley

In this post, we would get to know a little about the wildlife in the Arava Valley. Even Though the Arava is arid and there ...

The Hoopoe in Israel

The hoopoe was chosen as the national bird of Israel in May 2008 in conjunction with the country’s 60th anniversary; following a national survey of 155,000 ...

Crocodiles In Israel

What do we know about crocodiles in Israel? First, let’s begin by saying that the Crocodile is the first animal mentioned in the Bible. In ...

Syrian Brown Bear

The Syrian Brown Bear is a Biblical Animal Now Extinct in the Holy Land. But the Hebrew Bible is rich with lengthy descriptions of the ...

Animals Living in Sand Dunes

Animals living in sand dunes always fascinated me. The extreme conditions like heat or dryness pose quite a challenge for animals living in the desert. But, ...

The Deadliest Snakes in Israel

So this post is about the deadliest snakes in Israel. But it’s good to know that there are only nine venomous snakes in Israel. Now ...