Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture Cathartes burrovianus

Brazilian name: Urubu-de-cabeça-amarela

Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture, Boa Nova, Bahia, Brazil, October 2008 - click for larger image Brazil

The Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture is difficult to differentiate from other Cathartes species such as the Turkey Vulture and the Greater Yellow-headed Vulture. They all show the two-tones of grey and black when viewed from below although the Greater Yellow-headed has a dark area about one-third in from the wing tip.

It is often difficult to make out the head colour precisely though it is often possible to see the whitish nape of the Turkey Vulture (relevant only in South America apart from the Pacific coast)

The Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture flies in a similar fashion to the Turkey Vulture with its wings held well above the horizontal and tilting unevenly from side to side without flapping. If you can see the tops of the wings, the Lesser Yellow-headed has pale patches on the outer primaries.

It is usually found in savannas and other open areas as well as at forest edges. It is replaced by the Greater Yellow-headed Vulture in undisturbed tropical forest.

There is a distribution map from NatureServe and additional information available via Avibase as well as a page on Wikiaves.

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