Kenya Birds

African White-backed Vulture


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African White-backed Vulture

Photograph(s) Copyright İP&H HARRIS

Gyps africanus

Other Pics: White-backed Vulture in Flight

Other Names

  English White-backed Vulture, White-backed Griffon Vulture   French Vautour africain, Gyps africain   German Weißrückengeier   Spanish Buitre Dorsiblanco Africano   Swedish Vitryggad gam   Dutch Witruggier   Italian Avvoltoio grifone minore

World: Africa: widespread S of 15°N except for Eastern Somalia, large parts of South Africa and Namibia and the equatorial forests of West Africa.

Kenya: Common in open or wooded country which support populations of large grazing mammals. It is rare in the higher rainfall areas of the West and the coastal strip.

Across all of Kenya this is the most abundant of the vultures. It can be confused with Rüppell's Griffon Vulture which is found in the same areas and whose plumage, in older birds, fades to a similar brown colour. Indeed locally Rüppell's can actually outnumber the White-backed and at carcasses it dominates the White-backed. This may be, in part, because White-backed Vultures are adapted to feeding on soft tissues (muscles, intestines etc) and cannot rip open the large carcasses which form the major part of their diet.

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