Detroit Zoo African Spoonbill

Lappet-faced vulture

At the Detroit Zoo
The lappet-faced vultures can be found in the vulture habitat next to the camels from April through September.

The lappet-faced vulture is a large bird with a heavy bald head and massive brown bill. It has mainly dark feathers and is easily identified by its bare pink head and large, fleshy lappets (folds of skin) on the sides of its neck. It has white feathers on its legs.

Scientific name: Torgos tracheliotus
Continent: Africa and Middle East
Habitat: Dry savannah, semi-arid or desert areas with only scattered trees and open mountain slopes up to 15,000 feet above sea level
Size: 3 to 4 feet
Weight: 13 to 18 pounds
Diet: Carrion (dead and decaying flesh) and sometimes live prey, including small mammals and birds
Reproduction: One egg that incubates for 55 days
: 20 to 50 years
Conservation Status: Vulnerable



Lappet-faced vultures are able to strip a small antelope carcass to the bone within 20 minutes.