Scientifically referred to as Necrosyrtes monachus, the Hooded Vulture is a descendant of Old world vulture belonging to the Accipitriformes order just like kites, eagles, hawks and buzzards and is a member of Necrosyrtes genus thriving in the Sub-Saharan Africa where it is explored on Africa birding safaris including birding safaris in Uganda.
Hooded vulture is a small vulture compared to other vultures featuring a
dark brown plumage, bare crown, fore-neck and face and long thin bill
as viewed on Uganda birding safaris and tours. The hooded vultures stretch between 62 – 72cm in length and weigh 1.5 – 2.6kg.
occurs in their stick nests built in trees where one egg is laid. The
incubation of the hooded vulture lasts forty six (46) days. The stick
built nest is always 20 – 120 feet high in the tree and is utilized year
after year. The male is responsible for providing food to the female
and the chick while still young but after three (3) weeks parents start
going together to look for food. The fledging takes 120 days while the
entire lifespan ranges from 20 – 25 years but can stretch up to 30 years
while in captivity.
Like other Vultures, the hooded vultures are
notable scavengers but because of their weak bill and small size, they
wait to pick up scraps from the carcass after the larger vultures have
had a feast as explored on birding safari in Uganda.
They as well feed at spiny lobsters, mussels and dead fish on the sea
shores while in urban centres, they scavenge in gutters and dumps. The
hooded vultures also consume grasshoppers, locusts and grubs.
hooded vulture moves in flock and they can be seen soaring in the sky
during the day time in areas where they thrive. But unfortunately, the
numbers are decreasing due to habitat loss, poisoning and hunting. In
fact the hooded vulture is listed as critically endangered on the red
list of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
hooded vultures thrive majorly in sub Saharan Africa and their habitat
include; savannah, open plains, coastal areas, forests and villages. In
Uganda, they mainly thrive in Queen Elizabeth National Park.