Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Near Threatened

Cinereous Vulture (Aegypius monachus)


French: Vautour moine German: Mönchsgeier Spanish: Buitre negro
Other common names: Eurasian Black Vulture, Monk Vulture

Vultur Monachus


, 1766,



Proposed races chincou (sometimes as “chinou”) of China and danieli of Mongolia generally not recognized. Monotypic.


S Palearctic from Iberia and SE France, Balearic Is and Balkans E through Turkey, Caucasus, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and possibly SW Kashmir to S Siberia, Mongolia and NE China. Winters S to Middle East, S Pakistan, N India, Nepal and, in very small numbers, E China and Korea.

Descriptive notes

100–120 cm; male 7000–11,500 g, female 7500–12,500 g; wingspan 250–295 cm. Huge, broad-winged vulture, often slightly wedge-shaped tail; all dark... read more


Little used. Calls include grunts, croaks and hisses when feeding at carcasses, and during breeding... read more


Forested areas in hills and mountains, at 300–1400 m in Spain, but higher in Asia. In Tibet... read more

Food and feeding

Feeds on carrion, from medium-sized to large carcasses; only rarely takes live prey, e.g. lizards, snakes and tortoises, and some insects.... read more


Lays Feb–Apr. Tends to congregate in very loose colonies or nuclei; in Spain occupied nests 30 m to 2 km apart; density 1·7... read more


In S Europe adults non-migratory, in C Asia semi-resident, often following nomads and their... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Moderately small population apparently suffering continued decline in Asiatic strongholds, though numbers in... read more

Recommended citation

Meyburg, B.U., Christie, D.A., Kirwan, G.M. & Marks, J.S. (2019). Cinereous Vulture (Aegypius monachus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 10 December 2019).