The Plight and Importance of the Indian Vulture: A Comprehensive Guide

Intro: A Critical Balance in Nature 

The Indian Vulture, also scientifically known as Gyps indicus, is a bird that uniquely maintains ecological balance. As a scavenger, it is vital to clean the environment, thereby contributing to disease control. A member of the bird sanctuary, this medium-sized vulture has a striking appearance with its pale brown body and dark flight feathers.

While bird pictures and photos of this species may not elicit the same delight as more colourful avian counterparts, the Indian Vulture is no less fascinating. From its unique dietary habits to specific bird migration patterns, it is a remarkable creature worth our attention.

Although, for many bird lovers, the Indian Vulture has become a tragic symbol of human interference.

To anyone who visits a birdlife sanctuary, the chances of spotting this once-common bird have become increasingly rare, which should set alarm bells ringing. However, its dwindling numbers offer more than just a point of interest for bird lovers; it’s a glaring alarm about the health of our ecosystem.

Table: The Indian Vulture at a Glance

Serial NumberCharacteristicsDescription
1Common nameIndian Vulture
2Scientific nameGyps indicus
3ColourPale brown body with dark flight feathers
4Average length89–103 cm
5Average height2.22–2.58 m wing span
6Type of birdScavenger
7Found in India in statesMultiple states including Maharashtra and Gujarat
8HabitatCliffs, high buildings
9IUCN StatusCritically Endangered

Features of the Bird


The Indian Vulture stands at a remarkable length of 89–103 cm, making it one of the largest bird species in the subcontinent. When it comes to bird image names or bird photos, you will often find the Indian Vulture flaunting its enormous wingspan, which ranges from 2.22 to 2.58 meters. Such a significant length makes it a powerful flier, allowing it to cover vast distances in search of food.


The height, or the wingspan in this case, of the Indian Vulture ranges from 2.22 to 2.58 meters. Its impressive size aids it to glide effortlessly while searching for food or during bird migration. Though the Indian Vulture is not often considered when considering a bird shop near me or a bird house, its height would make it stand out in any bird sanctuary.

Running Speed 

The Indian Vulture isn’t known for its running speed, but it’s a different story when it comes to flying. With an average flying speed of around 35 km/h, it uses thermal convection currents to glide effortlessly through the air. If you’re at a bird sanctuary or using a bird PNG for educational purposes, this unique attribute certainly makes it a standout feature of this endangered species.


The colours of the Indian Vulture are more muted compared to other birds you might find in a birdlife sanctuary or in bird photos. It has a pale brown body with darker flight feathers, a colour scheme that helps it blend seamlessly into its natural environment. For anyone trying to spot them at a bird sanctuary, their colouring makes it challenging yet rewarding when you finally get to take that perfect bird picture.

Habitat and Food of the Bird 

  1. Habitat: The Indian Vulture prefers cliffs and high buildings for nesting. This makes it a unique subject for bird photos in its natural setting.
  1. Food: These vultures are scavengers feeding primarily on carcasses, thereby performing a vital role in the ecosystem. They are essential residents in any birdlife sanctuary.
  1. Range: Their range spans multiple states in India, making them a subject of interest for bird migration studies.
  1. Food Search: They cover wide areas, sometimes ranging hundreds of miles, in search of carcasses. They can be seen in bird sanctuaries as well as open fields.
  1. Co-habitation: Indian Vultures can often be found in small flocks, sometimes with other species, making it a unique find in any bird sanctuary.

Nesting and Nurturing 

For those curious about bird nest structures, the Indian Vulture offers something unique. They nest on cliffs or high buildings, making them a different subject for bird nest photography. When it comes to nesting and nurturing, both parents share responsibilities. After the bird nest is prepared, only one egg is typically laid, and it hatches in about 50 days. This nurturing behaviour should be fascinating for any bird lover visiting a bird sanctuary.


The most significant threat to the Indian Vulture is poisoning due to the drug Diclofenac found in dead cattle. Electrocution from power lines and habitat loss are other issues they face, making conservation action by bird sanctuaries and bird lovers a crucial need.

IUCN Status and Conservation 

The Indian Vulture is currently listed as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List, emphasizing the urgency of conservation measures. Many bird sanctuaries are engaged in captive breeding programs, and strict laws have been implemented to ban harmful drugs like Diclofenac.


In conclusion, the Indian Vulture is integral to India’s wildlife. For bird lovers, conservationists, and anyone concerned about the environment, the decline of this species is a significant loss. Bird sanctuaries and bird lovers alike have a role to play in ensuring the survival of this vital scavenger. From bird photos to birdwatching, every form of awareness helps. Let’s all strive to protect this unique bird, an essential part of our ecosystem.

More info about Indian Vulture – Link

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