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Scientific Name:
Sarcoramphus papa

Conservation Status:
Common

Where to see them:
KIDZone

Fun Facts:

King vultures are most closely related to condors.

Although listed as common, king vultures are declining in numbers, primarily due to habitat loss.

The reason for the colored head skin is unknown, as both sexes look alike.

 

King Vulture

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Size
Height is 30 inches; weight is 6 to 10 pounds; wingspan is 5 to 6 feet.

Range
Central and South America

Habitat
Tropical forest

Lifestyle
King vultures spend much of each day soaring on thermals looking for food, which is detected by watching the actions of other vultures and possibly by smell. They have very powerful beaks for opening the bodies of dead animals. They are the dominant species of vulture at a carcass site.

Food
King vultures eat carrion, or dead or decaying animal matter.

Life Cycle
The female lays a single egg in the hollow of a large tree. Both sexes incubate the egg, which hatches after 38 days. Pairs are monogamous and may stay together for many years. King vultures have been reported to live over 40 years. Chicks take five years to develop full adult plumage.

Some of My Neighbors (IN THE WILD)
Jaguars, anteaters, macaws

Population Status & Threats
Although the species is classified as common, king vultures are declining in numbers, primarily due to habitat loss.