Scientific Name: Trigonoceps occipitalis Afrikaans Name: Witkopaasvoel
If you could call a vulture ‘pretty’, then this species, with its white head and blushing pink face, could be considered the prettiest! We named them after divas Claudia, Bridgette, Madonna and Marilyn, and even the male is named ‘Evita’, reflecting his drag-queen appearance. Claudia and Evita have raised a single chick for the last four years. The African Bird of Prey Sanctuary was the first facility in the world to breed white-headed vultures in captivity.
White-headed Vultures are probably the most solitary of vultures, nesting at the very top of trees. Although often the first vultures to arrive at a carcass, they are not messy feeders. They cannot compete with the larger vultures and often resort to pirating chunks of meat. They sometimes also catch their own prey of small mammals and birds.
The species is listed as ‘Vulnerable’ in the Red Data Book