Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)


Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus)


French: Percnoptère d’Égypte German: Schmutzgeier Spanish: Alimoche común

Vultur Perenopterus

[sic] Linnaeus

, 1758,



Original specific name incorrectly spelt, and officially emended#R. Following the naming of a new subspecies from Canary Is#R, further work revealed that population of this species in Balearic Is is equally distinct genetically#R; further work desirable. NW Himalayan population included in nominate, but possibly separable (as race rubripersonatus)#R. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • N. p. percnopterus (Linnaeus, 1758) – S Europe E through S Ukraine, Turkey and Caucasus to C Asia (E Kazakhstan) and NW India, and S through N Africa, Middle East (Levant), Sahel and Arabia to N Tanzania (situation unclear in S Africa, where formerly widespread, now persists as breeder in SW Angola and N Namibia#R and maybe Eastern Cape, in South Africa); also Balearic Is, Sicily, Cape Verde Is and Socotra.
  • N. p. majorensis Donázar et al., 2002 – Canary Is.
  • N. p. ginginianus (Latham, 1790) – Nepal and India (except NW).
  • Descriptive notes

    54–70 cm ; 1600–2400 g; wingspan 146–175 cm . Small vulture with unique plumage, resembling that of European White Stork (Ciconia ciconia); marked... read more


    Rarely heard, but gives various low whistles, groans, grunts, mewing notes, hisses and rattling... read more


    Extensive open areas mainly in dry or arid regions, although sometimes around fringe areas of wet... read more

    Food and feeding

    Opportunist; able to take very varied types of food. Mainly carrion, including all sorts of dead vertebrates, from passerine birds and... read more


    Generally breeds later than other Palearctic vultures, although in S Sahara may breed from Jan or even earlier (e.g. Nov–Apr in... read more


    Migratory in N of range; sedentary in Arabia, Balearic Is and Canary Is; mainly sedentary in Indian... read more

    Status and conservation

    ENDANGERED. CITES II. Has undergone fairly general decline, at least in Europe; population now more stable, and even recovering in some areas. Total population of Africa may... read more

    Recommended citation

    Orta, J., Kirwan, G.M., Christie, D.A., Garcia, E.F.J. & Marks, J.S. (2020). Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus). 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 24 February 2020).