Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Critically Endangered

Slender-billed Vulture (Gyps tenuirostris)


French: Vautour à long bec German: Dünnschnabelgeier Spanish: Buitre picofino

Gyps tenuirostris

G. R. Gray

, 1844,



Until recently was considered conspecific with G. indicus, but differs on several accounts#R#R. Has black head and narrow neck vs dark grey head and thicker, whitish-grizzled grey neck (2); dark vs pale cere, with dark vs yellow bill and claws (3); much narrower fringes on tertials and greater coverts so that contrast with primaries on folded wing much weaker (2); mottled vs clear rump (ns[1]); head apparently longer (135–145 mm vs 126–131 mm#R); split supported by molecular evidence#R. Monotypic.


Lower Himalayas, from NW India (Haryana)#R through Nepal to Assam and N & E Myanmar; also S Laos and Cambodia; formerly more widespread in Indochina and N Malay Peninsula.

Descriptive notes

77–103 cm; wingspan 196–258 cm. Medium-sized vulture grossly similar to G. indicus but slightly larger (minimum wing length 590 mm versus 560 mm... read more


Like G. indicus, makes variety of cackling, hissing and grunting sounds while... read more


Occurs in open country and partially wooded areas in lowlands and foothills to c. 1500 m elevation... read more

Food and feeding

An obligate carrion-feeder, feeding on cattle and other livestock, wild ungulates and human corpses; also scavenges at rubbish dumps. May... read more


Little published information. Breeds from Oct–Mar. Builds compact nest of sticks 60–90 cm across, 35–50 cm deep, 7–... read more


Mostly sedentary, although some seasonal shifts in elevation noted in Nepal.

Status and conservation

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED. CITES II. Like some of its congeners, has undergone serious declines from feeding on carcasses of livestock treated with veterinary drug diclofenac.... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Marks, J.S. (2019). Slender-billed Vulture (Gyps tenuirostris). 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 25 May 2019).