The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Cape Vulture / Cape Griffon

Afrikaans name: Kransaasvoël

A captive Cape Vulture

Cape Vulture

Photo © Steven Herbert

Gyps coprotheres

The Cape Vulture is a large bird that can have a wingspan of 2.5 metres or more. It is endemic to the southern Africa region and is most common in South Africa, Lesotho and Botswana.

The number of breeding pairs drops each year which has caused the IUCN to set its status as Endangered. There are numerous reasons for its decline including poisoning, habitat loss, use of body parts in traditional medicine and less farm livestock dying because of modern farming practices.

The Cape Vulture breeds and roosts on cliffs but during the day they often travel large distances in search of food. As with many species of vulture they have excellent eye-sight and keep a lookout for carcasses on the ground plus the behaviour of other distant vultures to see if they have located food.

They nest in colonies on cliff faces. The female is normally responsible for making the nest which is mainly made of sticks, twigs and grass. Although two eggs are sometimes laid it is most common that she only lays one. Both parents feed the chick which can take around 5 months before being ready to leave the nest.

References and further reading

The Vultures of Africa - Author: Mundy, Butchart, Ledger and Piper - Published: 1992 - Page: 72

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 52

The Status & Conservation of Birds of Prey in the Transvaal - Author: W. Tarboton and D. Allan - Published: 1984 - Page: 13

The Overberg Explorer - 2nd edition - Author: Ann & Mike Scott - Published: 2001 - Page: 47

Southern Africas Threatened Wildlife - Author: John Ledger - Published: 1990 - Page: 46

The Birds of South Africa - Author: Hazel Stokes - Published: 1979 - Page: 7

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 40

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1993 - Page: 104

Sasol Birds of Prey of Africa and its Islands - Author: Alan and Meg Kemp - Published: 1998 - Page: 34

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 1993 - Page: 82

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 148

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 149

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Published: 1989 - Page: 67

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 2011 - Page: 86

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1985 - Page: 108

Rare Birds of the World - Author: Guy Mountford & Norman Arlott - Published: 1988 - Page: 107

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1957 - Page: 55

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 71

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 79

Questions and Answers - Endangered Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: John Comrie-Greig - Published: 1992 - Page: 18

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 2000 - Page: 152

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Published: 1987 - Page: 42

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Published: 1999 - Page: 20

Country Life - Issue 277 - Author: - Published: 2019 - Page: 64

Eagles, Hawks & Falcons of the World - Author: Leslie Brown and Dean Amadon - Published: 1989 - Page: 329

Everyones Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Published: 1987 - Page: 74

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Published: 1991 - Page: 48

Field Guide to the Cradle of Humankind - Author: B. Hilton-Barber & Prof. L. R. Berger - Published: 2004 - Page: 178

Getaway - Vol 29 No 06 - Author: - Published: 2017 - Page: 18

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 70

Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of SA - 2nd edn - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1991 - Page: 409

Meeting with Birds - Author: Tom Spence - Published: 1986 - Page: 38

Nature in the Balance - Author: Rob Marsh - Published: 1991 - Page: 23

Nature in the Balance - Author: Rob Marsh - Published: 1991 - Page: 25

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 152

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1975 - Page: 137

African Wildlife - Vol 37 No 1 - Author: - Published: 1983 - Page: 39

African Wildlife - Vol 37 No 1 - Author: - Published: 1983 - Page: 40

Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Published: 1987 - Page: 62

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 62

Birds of Prey of Southern Africa - Author: Peter Steyn - Published: 1985 - Page: 21

Birds of Prey of the World - Author: Friedhelm Weick - Published: 1980 - Page: 78

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Published: 1985 - Page: 60

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Published: 1992 - Page: 14

Birds of the Transkei - Author: C.D. Quickelberge - Published: 1989 - Page: 38

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Published: 0 - Page: 46

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1959 - Page: 137

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Published: 1983 - Page: 58

BirdLife South Africa


Top

List of South African Birds

Got a comment about the content on this page?





This website features affiliate links, meaning we’ll earn a small commission if you purchase through these links.

Copyright Steven Herbert Projects, 2013 - 2023. All rights reserved.

Privacy Policy - FAQ - Terms of use