White-rumped Vulture

Gyps bengalensis  in हिंदी
Scientific Name:  Gyps bengalensis

Name:  White-rumped Vulture

    Local Names:
  • Assamese     পাতি শগুণ
  • Hindi     बंगाल का गिद्ध
  • Gujarati     ગીધ, શ્વેતપીઠ ગીધ
  • Malayalam     ചുട്ടിക്കഴുകൻ
  • Marathi     पांढर्‍या पाठीचे गिधाड
  • Nepali     डंगर गिद्ध
  • Oriya     ଶାଗୁଣା
  • Tamil     வெண்முதுகுக் கழுகு
Contribute Photo

The white-rumped vulture is a large dark bird, measuring 75 to 90 cm in length and weighing 3,500 to 6,000 grams. The wingspan is 205 to 220 cm. These birds lack feather on the head and neck. The head is greyish pink and the bill is short, heavy and silvery with dark ceres. The juveniles are dark brown. The adults have black plumage with whitish neck-ruff and underwing-coverts. The tail is black.

Size in cm:

75-85 cm

Size in Inch

30-33 Inch

Primary color:


Secondary color:

white   (Bird may have more colors)


The white-rumped vulture feed mainly on carrion. Sometimes they feed on small mammals, birds and reptiles.

Habit and habited:

White-rumped Vulture frequents open country near villages and towns. It can be seen in parks and it is often closely associated with human.
It also may be found in lowlands, and foothills up to 1500 metres of elevation. Vultures often gather at slaughterhouses and rubbish-dumps near towns and cities.


As all vultures, the White-rumped Vulture utters sounds mainly at carcasses, when disputes and interactions occur between several raptors’ species. We can hear series of grunts, croaks, hisses, screeches and high-pitched chatters.

Bird Type:

Birds of Prey


This species is an Old World vulture, different from the African White-backed Vulture – Gyps africanus, from Africa.
Also known as Indian White-backed Vulture, Oriental White-backed Vulture and White-rumped Vulture, this raptor is now Critically Endangered after this species was considered as “probably the most abundant large bird of prey in the world”. The White-rumped Vulture suffered important declines in the 1990s, and it is now rare within its range.

White-rumped Vulture adult is a medium-sized vulture. It has blackish upperparts with silvery-grey flight feathers. Lower back and rump are pure white, giving the bird its name.
The underparts are brownish-black, finely streaked creamy-white. On the underwings, coverts are all white, well visible in flight. Undertail coverts are black.

Head and neck are dark brown with pinkish-white downy crown and nape. We can see a white ruff at neck base.
The hooked bill is brownish-black with darker cere. Eyes are brown. Legs and feet are black.
Both sexes are similar.

Juvenile is dark brown with streaked underparts. Head and neck are brown with paler ruff. Bill is grey. It reaches the adult plumage at 4-5 years of age.

Distribution Map

  •     Resident (inc. local and altitudinal migrants)
  •     Former range (no recent records but may still survive)
  •     Summer visitor (including summer monsoon)
  •     Winter visitor
  •     Passage (autumn and/or spring) visitor
  •     known to be occasional, scarce or erratic
  •     Small isolated population (actual range smaller)  
  •     Isolated record(s) - one or more in the same area  
  •  colour coded for seasonality as per coloured ranges, black denotes unspecified season

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