King Vulture

About the King Vulture

The King Vulture is a large species of New World vulture that lives across a variety of habitats through much of South America and parts of Central America. They are the largest vultures found in the new world, not including the two condor species (California and Andean).

The King Vulture is a scavenger, dining on deceased animals including beached fish, livestock carcasses, and dead wild animals, including sloths!

The King Vulture has a very unique look. The body plumage is contrasting buffy-white and black. The skin on the head is wrinkly, with a mixture of reddish-purple and black tones contrasting with the yellow and orange neck. The tip of the black bill is a deep red, with a yellow-orange, oddly-crested cere.

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Details & Statistics

Added to Birdorable
Hatched on 23 August 2012
Scientific Name
Sarcoramphus papa
  • Ciconiiformes
  • Cathartidae
  • Sarcoramphus
  • S. papa
Birdorable Family
Conservation Status
Least Concern (as of 20 March 2020)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
Units: Imperial / Metric
27 to 32 inches
48 to 79 inches
96 to 160 ounces

International Names

Brazilian (Português brasileiro) Urubu-rei
Chinese (汉语) 王鹫
Czech (Cesky) kondor královský
Danish (Dansk) Kongekondor
Dutch (Nederlands) Koningsgier
Finnish (Suomi) kuningaskondori
French (Français) Sarcoramphe roi
German (Deutsch) Königsgeier
Italian (Italiano) Avvoltoio reale
Japanese (日本語) トキイロコンドル [tokiirokondoru]
Norwegian (Norsk) Kongekondor
Polish (Polski) kondor królewski
Russian (русский язык) Королевский гриф
Spanish (Español) Zopilote Rey
Swedish (Svenska) Kungsgam
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