Birds – The Eared Vultures

The so-called Eared Vultures of the genus Otogyps take their name from certain naked, fleshy folds or lappets on the sides of the head. Two species are known, of which the African Eared Vulture ‘(O. auricularis) is the larger, being some forty-five inches in length. It is found occasionally in southern Europe, but principally in Egypt and tropical Africa, being brown in color, and has the inner surface of the thighs feathered, whereas the other species, known as the Pondicherry Vulture (O. calvus), has the inner surface of the thighs naked. The latter is a much smaller bird with the plumage black, and it is found in the Indian peninsula and the Indo-Chinese countries. They build nests of great size, which are often used from year to year, one de-scribed by Hume containing over 600 pounds of material. The nests are always placed in trees, especially the tall banyans.