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Gypohierax angolensis

Gypohierax angolensis , Photo: Michael Lahanas

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Aves
Subclassis: Carinatae
Infraclassis: Neornithes
Parvclassis: Neognathae
Ordo: Falconiformes
Familia: Accipitridae
Subfamilia: Gypaetinae
Genus: Gypohierax
Species: Gypohierax angolensis


Gypohierax angolensis (Gmelin, 1788)


* Systema Naturae 1 pt1 p.252

Vernacular names
Afrikaans: Witaasvoël
Česky: Orlosup palmový
Deutsch: Palmgeier
English: Palm-nut Vulture
Español: Buitre palmero
Nederlands: Gierarend
Polski: Palmojad
Português: Abutre-do-coconote

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.


This is an unmistakable bird as an adult. At 1.2-1.5 kg (2.6-4 lbs), 60 cm (24 in) and 150 cm (59) across the wings, this is the smallest Old World vulture.[1][2] Its plumage is all white except for black areas in its wings. It has a red patch around the eye. The immature, which takes 5 years to mature, is brown with a yellow eye patch. In flight this species resembles an eagle more than a typical vulture, and it can sustain flapping flight, so it does not depend on thermals.


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/
2. ^ http://www.oiseaux-birds.com/card-palm-nut-vulture.html

* 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
* A. Landsborough Thomson, R. E. Moreau (1957) "Feeding habits of the palm-nut vulture Gypoheerax" Ibis 99 (4) , 608–613 doi:10.1111/j.1474-919X.1957.tb03053.x

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Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License