Sunday, June 15, 2014

Hooded Vulture

The hooded vulture is the smallest vulture in Africa and is found in central Africa, from east to west, and south to Angola. 
Hooded vulture at a beach in Cape Coast, Ghana.
It is not found in the wetter areas of its range. It has a small head and a very thin, black-tipped bill. Its face and the front of its neck are pink, but turn bright red when it is excited. It has mostly brown plumage, but white feathers on the crown and back of its neck (the "hood") and around its crop (upper chest). 

It can't compete with larger vultures at carcasses and stays later than other vultures at a kill and uses its long bill to reach into cavities that the larger vultures are unable to reach. We saw hooded vultures in several places in Ghana. They congregated in the palm trees at the Coconut Grove Beach Resort outside Elmina as soundless but continuous sentinels. 
Hooded vultures in palm trees outside Elmina, Ghana. They look like sunburned old men with bad toupees. 
We also found them at "baptism beach" in Cape Coast which is used as a slaughterhouse.  

1 comment:

  1. Creepy birds, always lurking up in the palm trees, watching over us as we swam in the Coconut Grove pool.