king vulture

King Vulture

Sarcoramphus papa

CLASS Aves | ORDER Cathartiformes | FAMILY Cathartidae

RANGE Southern Mexico to Northern Argentina

HABITAT Tropical forests; also seen in plains and savannahs

DIET Carrion (dead or decaying animal matter)

6 - 9 lbs

32 in

5 - 6 ft

38 days

1 egg

IUCN Status
Least Concern
king vulture

King vultures lack a syrinx, which means they can only make simple hisses and grunts.

It relies heavily on its keen eyesight to find food because of its poor sense of smell. Its beak is specially adapted for ripping through tough-skinned carcasses. They feed on rotting carcasses which helps prevent the potential spread of disease.

Chicks take five years to develop full adult plumage.

king vulture

They are not threatened, but are susceptible to human disturbance and habitat loss.