Bearded Vulture

Bearded Vulture

Bearded vultures use ossuaries, rocky bone-dropping sites, to break apart large bones by dropping them from up to 150m in the air.

When a bone is too large for a bearded vulture to consume wholly, the bird will lift the bone within its talons, lift it up 50-150 meters in the air, and carry it over to rocky bone-dropping sites, called ossuaries. Here, they are dropped repeatedly until they break open and bone marrow can be consumed.

Bearded vultures use similar techniques to kill tortoises, small birds, and smaller mammal prey such as marmots, hyraxes, and hares.

Sources: (BirdLife International, 2017; Ferguson-Lees and Christie, 2001; Margalida, 2008; Tenenzapf, 2011)
Image: Fulvio Spada


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