Body Length 27 to 32 Inches
6 to 10 Pounds
Unknown in the Wild ( 30 Years in Captivity )
Southern Mexico to Southern Argentina
These large scavengers live in the uppermost branches of emergent canopy trees.
The king vulture is one of the larger species of vulture. Unlike other vultures, which are dark in color, king vultures are creamy white, with darker tail-features. The feathers around their heads and necks are blue, red, orange and yellow. The skin drooping over their beak, called a wattle, is a bright red-orange. Their beak is thick and strong, great for shredding flesh, and their long thick claws are good for keeping a tight grip on their dinner.
A King Vultures sense of smell is not as good as other types of vultures. When they see that other scavenger birds have discovered a meal, they will swoop down from the sky. The other birds will usally move out of the way for the “King”.
These birds nest on the ground, and females lay a single egg that parents incubate. Both parents also care for infants, bringing back dinner in their stomachs and regurgitating it for their young to enjoy.
Populations of King Vultures are in decline due to habitat destruction.
ANIMAL FUN FACT!
King vultures are found from Mexico south to Argentina. Some suggest that the bird’s name comes from an old Mayan legend in which this vulture was a “king” or “lord” that carried messages between humans and the Gods.