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A photo of a Red-headed Vulture (Sarcogyps calvus), female
Red-headed Vulture, Female

Red-headed Vulture

Sarcogyps calvus

The red-headed vulture (Sarcogyps calvus), also known as the Asian king vulture, Indian black vulture or Pondicherry vulture, is an Old World vulture mainly found in the Indian subcontinent, with small disjunct populations in some parts of Southeast Asia.

It is a medium-sized vulture of 76 to 86 cm in length, weighing 3.5–6.3 kg and having a wingspan of about 1.99–2.6 m. It has a prominent naked head: deep-red to orange in the adult, paler red in the juvenile. It has a black body with pale grey band at the base of the flight feathers. The sexes differ in colour of the iris: males have a paler, whitish iris, whilst in females it is dark brown.

The red-headed vulture is very similar in appearance to its larger relative the Lappet-faced vulture in Africa and Arabia, even being historically placed in the genus Torgos

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