Greater Yellow-headed Vulture (Cathartes melambrotus)

Order: Cathartiformes | Family: Cathartidae  | IUCN Status: Least Concern

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Amazonia, Brasil

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Amazonia, Brasil

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Amazonia, Brasil

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Southeast Peru

Identification & Behavior: ~73 cm (28.7 in). The Greater Yellow-headed Vulture is black with a yellow unfeathered head that has shades of blue and red. It forages over pristine primary forests. It is distinguished from the very similar Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture by heavier built and darker black plumage. Seen from below, the Greater Yellow-headed Vultures shows a two-toned wing color with gray in the inner half of the wing and black in the outer half. The Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture has uniformly gray wings and forages on the grassy floodplains of major Amazonian rivers. Also, see Turkey Vulture.

Status: The Greater Yellow-headed Vulture is common over pristine Amazonian forest and foothill of the Andes up to approximately 1000 m.

Name in Spanish: Gallinazo de Cabeza Amarilla Mayor.

Sub-species: Greater Yellow-headed Vulture (Cathartes melambrotus) Wetmore, 1964.

Meaning of Name: Cathartes: Gr. kathartës, katharizö= cleaner to clean. melambrotus: Gr. melam, melas, melano = black; brotos= of the dead. A black bird cleaner of the dead.

See more of the Family Cathartidae   peru aves

Distribution Map
Greater Yellow-headed VultureVoice:
Generally silent.

External Links:


    • Species range based on: Schulenberg, T. S., D. F. Stotz, and L. Rico. 2006. Distribution maps of the birds of Peru, version 1.0. Environment, Culture & Conservation (ECCo). The Field Museum. on 11/09/2014.