Hooded vulture

The Hooded vulture, we see a lot of these birds in The Gambia. Usually, on our regular beach walks to Sanyang on Sundays. There is usually a dead fish, turtle or some such thing and guaranteed anything from one to thirty vultures eagerly ripping at the carcus.

Frenzied feeding – ©Frederick Kamst
Thirsty – ©Emyr Evans

Bird information.

Where can we see a Hooded vulture?

The Hooded vultures pictured above were photographed at the quarry on the way to the beach and approximately midway between us and Sanyang. You can expect to find them anywhere there is a dead and rotting fish or animal.

What does a Hooded vulture look like?

It is a scruffy-looking, small vulture with dark brown plumage, a long thin bill, bare crown, face and fore-neck, and a downy nape and hind-neck. Its face is usually a light red colour. The hooded vulture is a typical vulture, with a head that is usually pinkish-white, but flushes red when agitated and a grey to black “hood”. It has fairly uniform dark brown body plumage and broad wings for soaring with short tail feathers. This is one of the smaller Old World vultures. They are 62–72 cm long, have a wingspan of 155–180 cm and a body weight of 1.5–2.6 kg. Both sexes are alike in appearance, although females often have longer eyelashes than males. Juveniles look like adults, only darker and plainer, and body feathers have a purplish sheen. Source Wikipedia

What does it feed on?

Anything dead and also sometimes on insects such as termites when they emerge in large numbers.

Want to know an interesting Factoid?

It is critically endangered in most of the world except, in West Africa and the biggest numbers are found right here in The Gambia.

How does it sound?

They don’t make much sound however they do have a hissing sort of whistle when coupling.

Adult – ©Rob Carr
Happy to share – ©Rob Carr
`a wake of vultures
A wake of vultures – ©Frederick Kamst
Feeding on a dead fish – ©Rob Carr
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