King Vulture (Sarcoramphus papa)

The King Vulture is a really magnificent bird. The other three species are black in general, with different color of head and neck. The Black Vulture is commonly seen soaring around the country, but the King Vulture is not seen that often. However, when you see it, you are amazed. The juvenile is mostly black, with white underparts, while the adult is mostly white, with black wing secondaries and orange to red neck. Both have white irises, which contrasts nicely with the head colors.

A shot from the hide at Mirador El Pizote shows the King Vulture calmly walking through the grass
Another shot from the hide at Mirador El Pizote, here most of the body is hidden from view due to the low angle
The King Vulture sharing a carcass with one Black Vulture, surrounded by the green vegetation of the forest
A fast action shot where the King Vulture had just taken off the branch in which it was perched seconds before
The King posing proudly on top of a branch. It was already full after at least two hours of feasting on a carcass
I call this picture “The King Vulture Ballet”. I leave it to the masters of the discipline to say if the posture is right, but to me it still looks graceful
King Vulture, Adult - Sarcoramphus papa - Zopilote Rey, Rey Gallinazo, Adulto (1)
The King just made its flashy appearance. Its attire is elegant, even gorgeous
King Vulture, Adult - Sarcoramphus papa - Zopilote Rey, Rey Gallinazo, Adulto (2)
A balancing act on a tree trunk, although vultures are very skilled at it
King Vulture, Adult - Sarcoramphus papa - Zopilote Rey, Rey Gallinazo, Adulto (3)
This adult spread its wings slightly when changing position at the tree
King Vulture, Adult - Sarcoramphus papa - Zopilote Rey, Rey Gallinazo, Adulto (5)
The body is essentially black and white, yet the head is very colorful
King Vulture, Adult - Sarcoramphus papa - Zopilote Rey, Rey Gallinazo, Adulto (8)
The maw protrudes from the chest’s feathers and is very conspicuous
King Vulture, Adult - Sarcoramphus papa - Zopilote Rey, Rey Gallinazo, Adulto (11)
The maw is concealed most of the time, but I am supposing that during hot days it helps to cool off by having it outside of the feathers
King Vulture, Adult - Sarcoramphus papa - Zopilote Rey, Rey Gallinazo, Adulto (12)
The gaze of this magnificent bird is very determined
King Vulture, Adult - Sarcoramphus papa - Zopilote Rey, Rey Gallinazo, Adulto (14)
Close up portrait of the head and neck
King Vulture, Adult - Sarcoramphus papa - Zopilote Rey, Rey Gallinazo, Adulto (15)
The maw is a zone in the chest of the bird that also lacks feathers, where the skin is pink
King Vulture, Adult - Sarcoramphus papa - Zopilote Rey, Rey Gallinazo, Adulto (16)
A close up portrait reveals the skin that folds around much of the face, neck and even covers the nostrils
King Vulture, Adult - Sarcoramphus papa - Zopilote Rey, Rey Gallinazo, Adulto
As a scavenger, this vulture normally gets its meals from dead animals found anywhere
King Vulture, Juvenile - Sarcoramphus papa - Zopilote Rey, Rey Gallinazo, Juvenil (4)
Juvenile and Adult stand together in the sun. They really look magnificent
King Vulture, Juvenile - Sarcoramphus papa - Zopilote Rey, Rey Gallinazo, Juvenil (5)
The poise of this juvenile while walking is incredible

2 thoughts on “King Vulture (Sarcoramphus papa)

  1. Pingback: Hike Trip to Yatama Ecolodge | Chris Photography

  2. Pingback: Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) | Chris Photography

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