Facts about Gyps Fulvus

Facts about Gypaetus
4 December 2016
Minoan route
10 December 2016
Gyps fulvus ornio gypas vitsila griffon birds of crete feature image

The Cretans call it Gypas, Orneo or Vichila, for the ancient Greeks it was the Divine Servant who carried the human souls into the distant universe.


It is the second largest bird of our island with a height of 1 meter and a wing opening of 2.5 meters

Their plumage is light brown while, at the edges of the wings and the tail black. Their heads and neck are covered with white fluff, an adaptation that helps them to sink their head into the guts of the dead animals they feeds on.

They are social birds and nestle in groups on steep cliffs.

They lays a white egg from the middle of January to the beginning of March which both parents hatch for about 54 days.

The chicks until they leave their nest after 115 days are fed by both parents.

The Vultures feeds exclusively on dead animals and to find their food travel long distances that can reach up to 30 km.

Contrary to what people believes, the vultures has no good sense of smell. They locate their pray with their very sharp vision and the movements of birds that eat also corpses as ravens and magpies.