White-rumped Vulture


White-rumped Vulture

Scientific Name:  Gyps bengalensis

White-rumped Vulture image

White-rumped Vulture  Photo by:  --

Bird Type:  Birds of Prey    422  Views


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.


  • 75-85 cm

  • 30-33 Inch

  • black

  • white  (Bird may have more colors)
  •    পাতি শগুণ
  •    बंगाल का गिद्ध
  •    ગીધ, શ્વેતપીઠ ગીધ
  •    ചുട്ടിക്കഴുകൻ
  •    पांढर्‍या पाठीचे गिधाड
  •    डंगर गिद्ध
  •    ଶାଗୁଣା
  •    வெண்முதுகுக் கழுகு

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.


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


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.


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.

    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