Indian White-rumped Vulture

The Indian White-rumped Vulture (Gyps bengalensis) is an Old World vulture in the family Accipitridae. It is closely related to the European Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus).

It breeds on crags or in trees in mountains throughout India and southeast Asia, laying one egg. Birds sometimes form loose colonies. The population is mostly resident.

This scavenger feeds mainly from carcasses of dead animals which it finds by soaring over savannah and around human habitation. It often moves in flocks.

The White-rumped Vulture is a typical vulture, with a bald head, very broad wings and short tail. It is much smaller than European Griffon. It has a white neck ruff. Adult birds have whitish backs, rumps and the underwing coverts contrast with the otherwise dark plumage. Juveniles are mostly dark.

This vulture and Long-billed Vulture (Gyps indicus) have suffered a 99 percent decrease in India due to poisoning by the veterinary drug Diclofenac that causes kidney failure in birds eating the carcasses of treated cattle.