Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Least Concern

Palm-nut Vulture (Gypohierax angolensis)


French: Palmiste africain German: Palmgeier Spanish: Buitre palmero

Falco angolensis

J. F. Gmelin

, 1788,





Senegambia E to South Sudan and Kenya coast, and S to Angola and NE coastal South Africa (breeding very local in Angola and Zambia).

Descriptive notes

57–65 cm; 1200–1800 g, mean 1470 g; wingspan 135–155 cm. Bare orange to red facial skin distinctive; colour is affected by consumption of palm fruits and... read more


Low growl given during feeding, as well as various cawing and hissing sounds (the latter apparently... read more


Edges of tropical forests, large rivers, lakes, mangroves, estuaries and seashore, where oil palms... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly fleshy pericarp of Elaeis guineensis, Raphia and Phoenix (Arecaceae) palm fruits, locally especially ... read more


Laying mainly Oct/Nov–Dec in W & C Africa (where season continues until May); Jan–Feb and Jun–Nov in E Africa; May... read more


Sedentary in most areas with plentiful palm fruit. Also resident in some E African coastal areas... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. The commonest large raptor in many lowland forest areas of W & C Africa, at densities up to 1 pair/2 km2, and with c.... read more

Recommended citation

Kemp, A.C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Palm-nut Vulture (Gypohierax angolensis). 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 27 February 2020).