[order] FALCONIFORMES | [family] Cathartidae | [latin] Cathartes burrovianus | [authority] Cassin, 1845 | [UK] Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture | [FR] Urubu a tete jaune | [DE] Kleiner Gelbkopfgeier | [ES] Aura Sabanera | [NL] Kleine Geelkopgier
||e Mexico to n Argentina
The genus Cathartes includes medium-sized to large carrion-feeding birds in the New World vulture (Cathartidae) family. The three species currently classified in this genus occur widely in the Americas.
The Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture is mostly black with a green gloss. The outer primary flight feathers are ivory-coloured. The bright colours of the head vary geographically, and there is also some individual variation. In general, the neck is pale orange, the top of the head is blue-grey, and the remainder of the head is various shades of yellow, sometimes with red or greenish blue areas. The eyes are crimson, and the bill and cere reddish white. The legs are white or buff.
Latin America : East Mexico to North Argentina. The Yellow-headed Vulture can be found in savannahs near the east coast of Mexico and in Panama. It is also quite widespread in South America in lowlands as far south as northern Argentina.
Open savanna and water courses, open flat grasslands to the edge of forest but generally not over forest.
There is very little information about the nesting behaviour of this vulture.
The Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture nests in large tree cavities, in fallen logs or stumps. It does not build any nest, and the eggs are laid directly on the floor of the cavity.
Female lays 1-2 whitish eggs with brown markings. Incubation lasts about 40 days. The chicks are covered in thick down and are able to keep themselves warm at nest. They are fed by both parents by regurgitation during the whole nesting period. The young fledge at 2-3 months of age, or more.
Will feed on dead animals of any size but specializes on smaller carcasses found by relying on olfaction.
Video Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture
copyright: J. del Hoyo
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
The Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture can be found in savannahs near the east coast of Mexico and in Panama. It is also quite widespread in South America in lowlands as far south as northern Argentina. This is a bird of grass lands, savannahs and broken patches of forest.
Some of the birds from central America migrate to South America during the dry season
No documentation available on migration or dispersal behavior. There is however varaition in seasonal abundance in Central America.
Title Observations on Migratory Turkey Vultures and Lesser Yellow-headed Vultures in Northern Colombia
Author(s): FRIEDEMANN KOESTER
Abstract: Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura) breed from southe..[more]..
Source: The Auk 99: 372-375
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