Order
Cathartiformes
Family
Cathartidae
Genus
Cathartes
Neotropical Birds logo
Version 1.0

This is a historic version of this account.  Current version

 - Greater Yellow-headed Vulture
 - Greater Yellow-headed Vulture
Listen

Greater Yellow-headed Vulture Cathartes melambrotus

  • LC Least Concern
  • Names (21)
Matthew F. Jones
Version: 1.0 — Published November 3, 2017

Sign in to see your badges

Welcome to Birds of the World!

You are currently viewing one of the free accounts available in our complimentary tour of Birds of the World. In this courtesy review, you can access all the life history articles and the multimedia galleries associated with this account.

For complete access to all accounts, a subscription is required.

Subscribe Now

Already a subscriber? Sign in

Due to confusion with the smaller Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture (Cathartes burrovianus), Greater Yellow-headed Vulture was not described as a species until 1964; the two yellow-headed vultures differ in size, and in subtle differences in the coloration of the head and in the color pattern on the underside of the wing. Greater Yellow-headed Vulture is ecologically separated from the other members of the genus, occurring exclusively over large tracts of undisturbed lowland forest in Amazonia and the Guianas. With its highly developed sense of smell, it soars over forests in search of recently deceased forest mammals such as primates, sloths and opossums. In some areas where it occurs with and competes with Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura), Greater Yellow-headed Vulture is dominant. Perhaps due to its preference for undisturbed lowland rainforest and the general inaccessibility of this habitat, no nest site has been described for this species.

Distribution of the Greater Yellow-headed Vulture
Enlarge
  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Greater Yellow-headed Vulture

Recommended Citation

Jones, M. F. (2017). Greater Yellow-headed Vulture (Cathartes melambrotus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.gyhvul1.01