Palm-nut Vulture

Author: Taiwo Adams

THE PALM-NUT VULTURE

The Palm-nut Vulture Gypohierax angolensis, also known as the Vulturine Fish Eagle is one of just two out of eleven vulture species in Africa that is not threatened. Listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red-list category, populations of this species are currently not threatened and it has an extremely large range.

The Palm-nut Vulture is sedentary in most of the its range, inhabiting various habitat types such as coastal forests, mangrove swamps and wet savannah across sub-Saharan Africa.

Unlike other vultures and birds of prey, it is rarely seen at carcasses. Instead, it feeds primarily on plant matter, relishingthe fleshy fruit-husks of the oil-palm and the palm-fruits of Raphia (Raphia australis) palms. It also takes other fruits and grains and has sometimes been sighted feeding on small vertebrates and invertebrates such as fish, crabs, amphibians and molluscs.  

Both sexes are identical in size and appearance. Breeding activities during the dry season (December to March) has been well-documented with both mates flying and soaringtogether, performing beautiful flight displays than other vultures.