Egyptian Vulture

Neophron Percnopterus

Species name: Egyptian vulture
Scientific name: Neophron percnopterus

Locally known as: Al Rakhmah


Description: This rare bird has a bald yellow head and throat with a white collar, giving it the nickname Pharaoh’s Chicken. Its preferred habitat is mountains and rocky escarpments


IUCN status: Endangered.


Key threats: Collision with powerlines, hunting, poisoning and lack of food networks.


Where they’re found today: They are distributed from southwest Europe and west Africa to central Asia and the Indian subcontinent


Abu Dhabi’s efforts: In Abu Dhabi Emirate, the Egyptian Vulture is only found on Jabal Hafit and EAD regularly monitors this small but important population. Since 2016, EAD has satellite tagged and tracked four birds to further understand their movement and use of area.


Fun facts:

  1. When the Egyptian vulture is a juvenile, its legs are grey – but, as an adult, they change to pink.
  2. The Egyptian vulture is a very intelligent bird due to its use of tools. Its known to use stones to break open abandoned eggs
  3. The birds have a highly varied diet, and even feed on the faeces of mammals and hence are truly scavengers