Gypohierax angolensis , Photo: Michael Lahanas
Gypohierax angolensis (Gmelin, 1788)
* Systema Naturae 1 pt1 p.252
The Palm-nut Vulture (Gypohierax angolensis) or Vulturine Fish Eagle, is a very large bird of prey in the family Accipitridae which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as kites, buzzards and harriers, vultures, and eagles. It is the only member of the genus Gypohierax. Unusual for Birds of Prey, it feeds mainly on the fruit of the oil-palm though it also feeds on crabs, molluscs, locusts, fish and has been known to occasionally attack domestic poultry.
This bird is an Old World vulture, and is only distantly related to the New World vultures, which are in a separate family, Cathartidae.
It breeds in forest and savannah across sub-Saharan Africa, usually near water, its range coinciding with that of the Oil Palm. It is quite approachable, like many African vultures, and can be seen near habitation, even on large hotel lawns in the tourist areas of countries like The Gambia.
Birds may form loose colonies. A single egg is incubated in a bulky stick nest in a tree for about six weeks.
1. ^ http://www.arkive.org/palm-nut-vulture/gypohierax-angolensis/
* BirdLife International (2004). Gypohierax angolensis. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 11 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License