Key information: The Griffon Vulture is a large, heavy bird of prey, with broad wings and very long ‘fingers’ at the wing tips. It soars using thermal currents and can be seen flying in slow motion in big circles. It can be seen gliding with its wings on ‘idle’, covering large distances. It breeds beginning of January on cliffs away from human presence and lays one egg each time. Vultures are known as nature’s clean-up crew as they feed on carcasses. In Cyprus, the Griffon Vulture is threatened with extinction mainly due to illegal placement of poison baits.
Length: 95 – 110 cm | Wingspan: 230 – 265 cm
Habitat: Coastal cliffs, mountains, farmland, scrub and bushes
When they can be seen: All year round
What they eat: Carrion
In Cyprus: Can be seen at Episkopi Cliffs, Chanoutaris Cliffs, Diarizos and Xeros Valleys
Status: Resident breeder
Illustration by Paschalis Dougalis