Griffon vulture (Gyps fulvous) is a large bird of vultures in the family Accipitridae which can be found mostly in southern Europe, southwest Asia and North Africa. This is a bird of very impressive size that can grow up to 110 cm in length, and to reach the weight to 11 pounds. He is called king of heaven, and that is the name this bird got from ancient Egypt. Wingspan of griffon vulture can go up to amazing 3 meters.
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Typical griffon vulture has white head, bare neck and yellow beak, broad wings and short tail. Newly born are without plumage. They are one of the largest bird of prey and often fly in flocks. Vultures feed themselves with dead animals and on that way they are preventing the spread of diseases and thus participate in the “natural recycling”.
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Griffon vultures usually built their nest on the rocks and in it lay an egg, rarely two. Incubation of an egg lasts for 50 days. Nests are in the cliffs on the steep limestone walls. Female bears only one egg in the period from late January to early April.
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What’s interesting is that both parents are lying on the egg and share equally their parenting duties. Young vulture after 3 months can fly, but it is still dependent on his parents and stays close to the nest of the parents.
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Many young vultures are starving in the first year of life, and the ones that survive returning to the colony where they were born. Young vulture become sexually mature in the fourth or fifth year of life, and once formed couples stay together throughout life.
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Griffon vulture is also very friendly bird. They all live in colonies. Although they are birds of prey, they collect the food together and they share it equally between its members.
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As soon as they leave the nest, griffon vultures go in search of their love partner. When they find important companion, they together form a so-called wedding flights. The two vulture fly side by side, almost touching with their wings, or they are flying one above the other.
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In those flights they can reach from 1000 to a height of 1500 meters. Then they land on the wall where they select site for their nest and return to flying. This is one of the most faithful of birds. Birds choose love for life. Its partners are faithful and loyal even after their death. If something happens to their partner, the other bird is no longer building a new nest.
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It often happens that the griffon vulture die shortly after the death of their romantic partner, which can tell a lot about their devotion and commitment to each other.