Palm-nut Vulture
Gypohierax angolensis

CLASS: Aves
ORDER: Falconiformes
FAMILY: Accipitridae

SIZE:
2 ft. head to tail; 5 ft. wingspan; weighs 3 to 3 1/2 pounds.

RANGE:
Central Africa to southeastern Africa.

HABITAT:
Forest edges along rivers, lakes, estuaries, and the coast where oil palms occur.

DIET:
Wild - Mostly fleshy part of palm fruits, occasionally other fruits and grains, fish, carrion, and crabs.
Zoo - Fish, avocado pulp, boiled sweet potato.

DESCRIPTION:
Largely white with a black back, tips of wings, and base of tail. Wings are short and rounded. Bare red skin on face around the eye to the beak.

FACTS:

  • One of the very few raptors whose main diet consists of fruits.
  • They are somewhat similar in appearance to the American Bald Eagle.
  • Breed from May to Dec, depending on where found; lay a single egg.

YOUNG:
Hatch in 44 days, coated with brownish down. Fledge in 90 days. Juveniles are brown with yellowish facial skin.

STATUS:
CITES II, not globally threatened.

REFERENCE:
Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 2. New World Vultures to Guineafowl. Ed. by Josep del Hoyo, Andrew Elliott and Jordi Sargatal.