Ruppell’s griffon vulture

Gyps rueppelli

At the Detroit Zoo
The Ruppell’s griffon vulture can be found in the habitat just west of the guanacos from April through September.

Description
The bodies of Ruppell’s griffon vultures are a chocolate brown color with distinctive white feather rings around their lightly feathered heads and necks. They have yellow eyes and soft white fluff that covers the purple-red skin on their heads. Ruppell’s griffon vultures have sharp tan beaks used for ripping and tearing meat from carcasses, and their necks allow them to reach inside a carcass to feed. They have powerful legs and talons used to rip meat and cling to the rock cliffs where they nest.

Fun Facts

  • From a standing start, griffon vultures can fly more than 3 miles in six minutes.