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Tambo Blanquillo - Stay in a family owned Manu Lodge and discover The Wonders of the Peruvian Jungle
Av. Nicolás de Piérola 265
Barranco, Lima 04 – Perú
tambo.blanquillo
(+51) 1 249 9342
(+51) 987 939 992

FAMILY BIRDS

Cathartidae

The vultures, another well-known New World family known for their distinctive bills designed for eating carrion rather than hunting, and for their soaring flight.

 


King Vulture

Sarcoramphus papa

King Vulture

King Vulture

Appearance:

  • An imposing bird, the adult has mostly white plumage, with a slight rose-yellow tinge.
  • The wing coverts, flight feathers and tail are dark grey to black, as is the prominent neck ruff.
  • The head and neck have no feathers. The skin is shades of red and purple on the head, vivid orange on the neck and yellow on the throat.
  • There is a highly noticeable irregular golden crest on the cere, just above the hooked bill which is orange and black.
  • It is about 67 to 81cm long, its wingspan is 1.2 to 2m, and it weighs 2.7 to 4.5kg.

Behaviour:

  • Usually eats carrion but known to eat injured animals and newborn calves.
  • In forests it sometimes eats sloth.
  • Being featherless the head and neck stay free of bacteria and exposed to the sterilizing effects of the sun.
  • One or two birds will usually feed at a carcass, although up to 10 may gather if there is a significant amount of food.
  • They can soar effortlessly for hours.

Voice:

  • It has no syrinx, the vocal organ of birds, but it can make low croaking noises and wheezing sounds in courtship, and bill-snapping noises when threatened.

Where & how to spot in Manu:

  • They are active during the day.
  • Habitat is undisturbed tropical lowland forests.
  • Often seen near swamps or marshy places in the forests
  • They can be spotted near viewing towers flying, or perching in high trees.

 

 


Greater Yellow-headed Vulture

Cathartes melambrotus

Greater Yellow-headed Vulture

Greater Yellow-headed Vulture

Appearance:

  • The body plumage is black.
  • The featherless head and neck vary in colour from deep yellow to pale orange.
  • The beak is flesh-coloured.
  • It is a fairly large bird, with a wingspan of 166 to 178cm. It weighs 1.65 kg. and is 64 to 75cm long.

Behaviour:

  • Like other vultures it uses thermal currents to stay aloft with minimal effort.
  • It lays its eggs on flat surfaces, such as the floors of caves, or in the hollows of stumps.
  • It feeds its young by regurgitation.

Voice:

  • It lacks a syrinx, and its vocalizations are limited to grunts or low hisses.

Where & how to spot in Manu:

  • It rarely strays from forested areas where it is relatively common.
  • They are active during the day.
  • It can be seen near viewing towers, along trails and perching in high trees.

 

 


Black Vulture

Coragyps atratus

Black Vulture

Black Vulture

Appearance:

  • The body plumage is black.
  • The head and neck, which are featherless, are also fully black.
  • It has a wingspan of 170cm, a body length of 75cm, and it weighs 1.65kg.

Behaviour:

  • Like other New World vultures, it uses thermal currents to stay aloft with minimal effort.
  • It lays its eggs on flat surfaces.
  • They have a poor sense of smell and possibly because of that they are gregarious.

Voice:

  • It lacks a syrinx, and its vocalizations are limited to grunts or low hisses.

Where & how to spot in Manu:

  • Like other vultures, active during the day.
  • Relatively common in open areas.
  • They soar in flocks.
  • In the morning they often roost in trees or on towers, waiting for the air to warm up and for thermals to develop.
  • See them near viewing towers, along trails and perching in high trees.

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