Mongolia

Mongolia Monday- Wildlife Profiles: Cinereous Vulture

Juvenile vulture, Baga Gazriin Chuluu, July 2010

Species: Cinereous Vulture (Aegypius monachus)

Vulture nest, Ikh Nart, April 2005

Weight, length: Cinereous vultures are the largest eurasian bird of prey and one of the largest flying birds. They are 98–120 cm (39–47 in) long with a 2.5–3.1 m (8.2–10 ft) wingspan and weigh 7–14 kg (15–31 lb)

Adult and juvenile on nest, near Baga Hairhan Uul, July 2010

Conservation Status: Near Threatened (IUCN Red List)

Nest on the face of Zorgol Uul, July 2011

Habitat Preference: Mountains, rocky uplands, forests

Vulture on nest, Ikh Nart, April 2005

Best places to see cinereous vultures: Ikh Nartiin Chuluu Nature Reserve, Baga Gazriin Chuluu Nature Reserve, but common in many parts of the country.

Vulture at Baga Gazriin Chuluu, July 2009

Interesting facts:

-They are also known as the European black vulture due to the very dark color of the juveniles. The adult’s head plumage gets lighter as the bird ages.

– It has recently been established through the identification of wing-tagged birds, that a number of juvenile birds from Ikh Nart are migrating to South Korea during the winter. They are showing up at feeding stations.

– It is more common for the species to nest in trees in western parts of its range, but in Mongolia nests on cliffs are more often seen. At Ikh Nart the birds nest in some of the elm trees and a bird was recently photographed on a nest built in a larch tree in the northern mountains.

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