10 Most Magnificent Vultures on Earth

Bearded VulturePhoto: Richard Bartz

The word ‘vulture’ brings to mind disgusting things, including behavior like eating dead animals and stealing things from one another. We even call one who is after everything they can get no matter what a ‘vulture’. We also think of impossibly ugly birds, ones that could never be called beautiful – so it’s no wonder they have a complex! However, they are magnificent animals, beautiful in their own way if you let the definition expand a little to one that is made for its essential and vital job of clearing the world of its dead and decaying carrion. One who may not be classically beautiful, but certainly reminds me of many people, there is a humanness about the way they look and stand which make me think of some people or groups of people. Others are simply powerful and some others… well the kindest word is magnificent, be it in their beauty or ugliness. Join me in counting down the most magnificent vultures in the world. If you see any that remind you of a profession or person, add it in the comments! Some have fascinating unique habits and all are interesting.

Lappet faced vulturePhoto: Jerry Pank

10. The Lappet Faced Vulture (Torgos tracheliotos)

This incredible looking bird looks, like the photographer said, more like a member of the legal profession, rushing to a courtroom! Also called the Nubian vulture he is an African, old world vulture. There are two types, old, who find their prey with excellent eyesight, and new world, who find it with excellent smell. Very different families. The largest of the African vultures, he has a wingspan of an average 9.2feet. More than any other vulture, he will attack sick and dying or weak living animals as well.

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