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Greater Yellow-headed Vulture - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 00:00, 11 October 2018 by Deliatodd-18346 (talk | contribs) (Imp sizes. Some extra info. References updated)
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Photo © by Arthur Grosset
Mato Grosso, Brazil, March 2003
Cathartes melambrotus


64–76 cm (25-30 in)

  • Bright yellow bare head skin
  • Black plumage

Similar Species

Photo © by Stanley Jones
Chuncho Lodge, Madre de Dios Department, Peru, August 2018

There can be difficulty in separating Greater Yellow-headed from Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture but, when perched, the wingtips of lessers extend way beyond the tail tip, and in flight have very narrow, long wings with high contrast between coverts and flight feathers. Greater YHV flies on flat wings.

For discussion on separating this species from Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture see reference[1].


South America: found in Colombia, Venezuela, the Guianas, Brazil, Bolivia, and Peru.


This is a monotypic species[2].


Mostly in forest.


Usually flies low over canopy to find food using its sense of smell. May at times be seen soaring very high above the forest.


Scavenges on dead mammals of the forest, such as monkeys, sloths and opossums.


There is very little information available. It is believed that they lay 2 eggs.


  1. Thread discussing identification of the two Yellow-headed Vultures
  2. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  3. Restall et al. 2006. Birds of Northern South America. Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300124156
  4. Erize et al. 2006 Birds of South America, non-passerines. Princeton Illustrated Checklists, Princeton, New Jersey, USA. ISBN 0-691-12688-7
  5. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved September 2014 and October 2018)

Recommended Citation

External Links