Birds – Egyptian Or White Vulture

The last that we shall have space to consider is the Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus), or, as it is sometimes called, the White Vulture, White Crow, or ” Pharaoh’s Chicken.” It attains a length of some twenty-five inches and is distinguished from all other members of the group by its elongated nostrils and long, slender, but not very strong, beak. The color of the plumage, with the exception of the black wing-feathers, is whitish throughout, whence of course its names. It is especially common throughout the countries surrounding the Mediterranean and thence extending through Africa and eastward to northwestern India. It is a typical scavenger Vulture, feeding on carrion, offal, and refuse of all kinds, and has earned for itself the name of being the most disgustingly loathsome member of the whole group, and yet with all it is regarded a valuable member of society and is care-fully protected wherever it dwells. This protection has consequently given it confidence in the presence of human beings, and it frequents towns and cities, where it is said not to be an uncommon sight to see them ” wrangling for some scraps of offal among the very feet of horses and camels of a market place.” The nest, a bulky affair of sticks and lined with rags, is placed on rocks, buildings, or even on trees, and often in, or close to, towns and cities. The eggs, two or sometimes three or four in number, vary from greenish or reddish white to a dingy blood-red color, usually spotted or blotched with brown.