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Cinereous Vulture


The cinereous vulture (Aegypius monachus) is a large raptorial bird that is distributed through much of temperate Eurasia. It is also known as the black vulture, monk vulture, or Eurasian black vulture. It is a member of the family Accipitridae, which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as kites, buzzards, and harriers. It is one of the two largest Old World vultures, attaining a maximum size of 14 kg, (roughly 30 lbs), 1.2 m long (almost 4 ft) and 3.1 m (a bit over 10 ft) across the wings.


This vulture is a bird of hilly, mountainous areas, especially favoring dry semi-open habitats such as meadows at high altitudes over much of the range. Nesting usually occurs near the tree line in the mountains.


Like all vultures, the cinereous vulture eats mostly carrion. The cinereous vulture feeds on the carrion of almost any type, from the largest mammals available to fish and reptiles. Reportedly in Mongolia, Tarbagan marmots (Marmota sibirica) comprised the largest part of the diet, although that species is now endangered as it is preferred in the diet of local people, wild prey ranging from corsac fox (Vulpes corsac) to Argali (Ovis ammon) may be eaten additionally in Mongolia.

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