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Interesting facts about the vulture

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We found 14 interesting facts about the vulture

Dark Vulture

Among the well-known colorful parrots, the vulture is an exception whose dark appearance can be intimidating. Both its graphite black color with red elements and the anatomical differences in appearance compared to a typical parrot suggest that we are dealing more with a bird of prey. Additionally, the name, derived from the lack of feathering on the front of the head, clearly indicates a different species. But appearances are usually deceiving.

The black vulture (Psittrichas fulgidus) belongs to the eastern parrot family (Psittaculidae).

It is the only representative of the genus Psittrchas.

Vultures live in the dense tropical forests of New Guinea, an island in the western Pacific Ocean in Malaysia.

This is its endemic species.

The species was first described in 1830 by René Lesson, a French surgeon, naturalist, ornithologist and herpetologist.

However, it has been very little studied, like the entire territory of its distribution - the Endemic Bird Area - a territory intended for the protection of endemic bird species or species with a limited range.

Vultures are relatively large parrots. They are smaller than poultry (Psittaceus erithacus) and larger than the sapphire macaw (Ara glaucoularis).

The body length of vultures is about 46 cm, body weight is 690-800 g.

Compared to other parrots, vultures have a small, thin head ending in a curved, elongated beak.

The front part of the head, from the beak to the temples, is devoid of feathers. The rest of the head is covered with fine bristly feathers. This is similar to some species of vultures, in which the head and even the neck are not feathered, which makes it easier for them to maintain hygiene (taking into account the type of food).

Vultures have rounded wings and a rather short, square-shaped tail.

Their color is dark, most often graphite black with red elements. The red color appears on the belly, parts of the wings and in males in the form of small spots on the temples. Females have black heads. The tails of vultures are black.

Vultures nest in the hollows of large trees.

They most likely lay two eggs, which incubate for 27-31 days. The female who incubates the eggs is fed by the male. The chicks are covered with yellow-white down. The time from egg laying to fledging of the young is 76 days.

They are most often found in pairs or groups of up to 20 individuals.

They sit on the tops of trees or move between them.

Although the appearance of vultures as birds of prey suggests that they are carnivores, they are in fact specialist herbivores.

They feed on a few select types of figs and also eat other soft fruits such as mangoes and pandans. They sometimes also eat flower buds, flowers and the nectar of stilts (a type of perennial vine in the pandanaceae family).

Vultures have a very low protein requirement, as evidenced by the structure of their digestive tract and the course of the digestion process.

During the day, they eat an amount of fruit food corresponding to 1/4 of the parrot's body weight.

These birds have an unusual voice and make specific sounds.

In the distance you can hear terrifying growls and hoarse sounds. Because of the sounds they make, coupled with their dark appearance, vultures are sometimes called "Dracula's parrots."

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has recognized vultures as a critically endangered species since 1994, which is why they are included in the Red List of Threatened Species.

The main threat to them is poaching - fishing for feathers that decorate, among other things, ritual headdresses. The parrots' natural habitats are also declining, although fig trees are unlikely to be cut down.

Vultures are a desirable breeding species.

They are bred in farms, but chicks are also obtained from natural environments, while destroying the tree with the hollow in which the nest was located.

It is illegal to remove vulture feathers from the island.

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