How Many Types of Vultures Are There?

How Many Types of Vultures Are There
Photo by Karl Callwood on Unsplash

Have you ever wondered how many types of vultures there are? You may be surprised to learn that 23 species of vultures are found worldwide. 

This blog post will look at the various types of vultures, their habitats, and some interesting facts about these majestic birds.

So if you’re interested in learning more about vultures, read on to find out how many types of vultures are there. And why they are such an essential part of the environment.

The Old World Vs. The New World

When asking, “How many types of vultures are there?” it is essential to distinguish between Old World and New World vultures.

Old World vultures are found in Europe, Africa, and Asia and are more closely related to eagles and hawks. 

These species of vultures typically have long wings and can be seen soaring in search of their food.

On the other hand, New World vultures are found in North and South America and are more closely related to storks. 

They are generally shorter in stature with shorter wingspans. While both types of vultures share similar behaviors, they differ in physical appearance, habitat, diet, and range.

Scientific Name

Vultures belong to the Accipitridae family, and within this family, there are two subfamilies: Gypaetinae, or Old World vultures, and Cathartinae, which are New World vultures.

Within these subfamilies are 23 species of vultures, each with its scientific name.

The four main types of vultures are the Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus), Cinereous Vulture (Aegypius monachus), Eurasian Black Vulture (Aegypius graces), and Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus). 

The scientific names for these four species of vultures are Gyps fulvus, Aegypius monachus, Aegypius graces, and Gypaetus barbatus, respectively.

Other species of vultures include the Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus), Hooded Vulture (Necrosyrtes monachus), White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus), Indian Vulture (Gyps indices), and Ruppell’s Vulture (Gyps rueppellii). Each of these species has its scientific name.

The most common type of Vulture is the Griffon Vulture, which is found in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

This vulture species can be identified by its brown plumage and white ruff on its neck. The scientific name for the Griffon Vulture is Gyps fulvus.

Vulture: The Bird’s Appearance and Behavior

Vultures are one of the most recognizable birds in the world, and they come in various shapes and sizes.

It’s hard to believe, but over 23 species of vultures are found worldwide! How many types of vultures are there?

They range from the small Egyptian Vulture, which is only 25 inches long and weighs 2.5 pounds, to the vast California Condor, which can reach up to 4 feet in length and weigh almost 25 pounds. 

Vultures generally have dark feathers ranging from black to brown to gray.

Many also have distinct heads and faces that can vary in color from white to yellow to red.

They usually have short, broad wings with a high wingspan and long tails that help them soar quickly through the air.

Behaviorally, vultures are scavengers and will feed on carrion (dead animals).

They are also exceptionally social and often gather in large groups when looking for food or nesting. They have even been observed sharing their food with others! 

They use their keen eyesight to find food sources, and their sharp talons and hooked beaks help them rip into their meals. Vultures can fly for hours, using thermals to keep them in the air.


Vultures are found in various habitats worldwide, from arid deserts to tropical jungles. How many types of vultures are there?

Depending on the species, they can range from extensive open grasslands to tall mountain ranges to coastal regions.

When considering how many vultures there are, we must also consider where they reside. 

Vultures live in all continents except Antarctica and prefer areas with plenty of carrion (decaying flesh) to feed on.

They can also be found near farms, dumps, and urban regions, as well as near lakes, rivers, and wetlands.

In addition to their preferred habitats, some vulture species are migratory, while others remain in the exact location year-round.


Vultures are found worldwide, with the Old World and the New World having their species of vultures.

According to BirdLife International, 23 species of vultures can be found around the globe. Most of these species can be found in Africa, Eurasia, India, and South East Asia. 

How many types of vultures are there? Of the 23 species of vultures, 14 are found in the Old World, and nine are located in the New World.

Vulture populations have been declining drastically due to habitat loss, intentional killings, and accidental poisoning by eating carcasses containing poison.

The largest population of vultures is in India, where there are an estimated 40 million vultures. 

Other notable populations are found in Africa and Eurasia. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) currently lists 16 of the 23 species of vultures as vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered. 

This is due to various factors, including habitat loss, accidental poisoning, intentional poisoning, hunting and trapping, and electrocution from power lines.

Protect these majestic birds; conservation efforts have been put into place to protect their habitat and reduce human-caused fatalities.

Vulture: The Bird’s Reproduction, Babies, and Lifespan

Depending on the species, vultures typically reach sexual maturity between 3 and 5 years of age.

The exact timing varies depending on the species, with some reaching maturity as early as 2 years of age. Vultures are monogamous, meaning they typically mate for life. 

Their courtship and nesting rituals differ from species to species but generally involve various vocalizations and physical displays.

Some species build nests in trees, while others lay their eggs directly on rocks or cliffs. Once paired, vultures usually lay two eggs in a single clutch. 

The incubation period can last up to 55 days, with both parents taking turns caring for the eggs.

Chicks usually hatch one at a time and require intensive care from their parents for the first few weeks of their lives.

The lifespan of a vulture depends on the species but can range anywhere from 3-15 years in the wild. 

Rarest Type of Vulture

The white-rumped Vulture (Gyps bengalensis) is the rarest of all the vultures.

It is a large Old World vulture found mainly in South Asia. It is currently facing the threat of extinction due to the widespread use of the veterinary drug diclofenac, which causes kidney failure in birds.

In some areas, the population has declined by as much as 97% in just a few years, making this species one of the most critically endangered birds in the world. 

Despite the urgent need for conservation efforts, the question remains: How many types of vultures are there?

The answer is that 23 species of vultures worldwide exist, but only 22 are found in the Old World.

The white-rumped Vulture is the only one found exclusively in the New World.

Common Species of Vulture

1. Cape Vulture

Cape Vultures are one of the many types of vultures found throughout the world.

The scientific name for the Cape Vulture is Gyps coprotheres, found in Sub-Saharan Africa.

They have a massive wingspan of over 8 feet and weigh around 8-12 pounds, making them one of the more enormous vultures. 

Their feathers are mostly white, with black tips on the tail and a contrasting black head.

They usually feed on carrion but also scavenge for food as well. In addition, they sometimes hunt small rodents, reptiles, and amphibians. 

They tend to roost on cliffs or other high places, although occasionally, they can be seen on the ground.

Cape Vultures usually live in small colonies and form powerful social bonds with each other.

They will often roost together and even help take care of young chicks. 

This is an essential trait in the vulture population, as it ensures the survival of their species in the face of potential threats. Cape Vulture is just one of the many types of vultures out there. 

As you can see, they are unique in their own right and have some fascinating characteristics that make them stand out from other birds.

It’s no wonder why they have been around for so long and remain a vital part of our ecosystem today

2. King Vulture

The King Vulture (Sarcoramphus papa) is one of the most iconic vultures of the Old World, and it is easily recognizable due to its large size, vibrant colors, and bald head.

This species can be found in Central and South America, including Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador. It has a wingspan of up to 6 feet and is one of the giant vultures in the world.

In the wild, King Vultures feed on carrion and often congregate at carcasses in large numbers.

The King Vulture’s distinctive plumage also makes it a famous bird among birdwatchers and tourists.

Its head is bald primarily, and its body is covered with colorful feathers that range from white to yellow to pinkish-orange.

It has a large, hooked beak which it uses to tear into carcasses to reach the meat inside. Its neck and legs are also covered with colorful patches of skin.

The King Vulture is one of the many types of vultures worldwide and is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful. 

As with all vultures, their numbers have declined due to habitat loss, hunting, and other factors.

Conservation efforts are being made to protect this fantastic bird and ensure its future in the wild.

3. White-rumped Vulture.

The white-rumped Vulture is an Old World vulture found in southern Asia and parts of Africa.

This Vulture is among the most numerous of the Old World vultures.

Still, unfortunately, its numbers are declining due to habitat destruction and poisoning from improperly disposed livestock carcasses.

The white-rumped Vulture is the second most common species out of all the types of vultures today, only behind the cinereous Vulture. 

They are around 65 cm (25.5 in) in length with a wingspan of 150–165 cm (59–65 in). Their head, neck, and breast are grey, while the rest of their body is usually brownish-black.

These vultures congregate in large flocks when searching for food or nesting sites. 

They usually feed on carrion, although they have also been known to eat eggs, small mammals, and even scraps of human food.

White-rumped vultures nest in tree cavities or on ledges, laying between one and three eggs per clutch.

Given how many types of vultures are there today, the white-rumped Vulture is one of the most numerous and widespread species.

With conservation efforts in place, we can help ensure this critical species continues to survive for many generations.

4. Slender-billed Vulture

One of the most common types of vulture is the Slender-billed Vulture, which is native to the Indian Subcontinent.

This type of Vulture has a slim body, long neck, small head, grey-brown feathers, and yellow eyes.

They can be found in open grasslands and fields where they hunt for food by scavenging or preying on small animals such as rodents and reptiles. 

They are very social and often travel in large flocks to take advantage of their size and strength when searching for food.

The Slender-billed Vulture is one of the most threatened species of vultures; with estimates of how many types of vultures are there, they are fewer than 10,000 individuals are left in the wild.


Vultures have been on the planet for millions of years and play a vital role in our environment.

So, it’s essential to understand how many types of vultures there are and why they’re so important.

How many types of vultures are there? We discovered two different types of vultures: Old World and New World. 

Old World vultures live in the Old World regions of Africa, Europe, and Asia, and New World vultures inhabit the Americas.

We also learned about the different kinds of vultures within each category, including the Cape Vulture, White-rumped Vulture, Slender-billed Vulture, and more. We discussed their habitat, population, reproduction, and lifespan.

Vultures are an essential part of our environment, helping to clean up carcasses that could otherwise spread diseases.

With the increasing destruction of habitats, these birds risk becoming endangered.

It’s essential to pay attention to how many types of vultures there are and take steps to protect them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Whooper Swan

A whooper swan is a large migratory bird and the most elegant in the swan lineage. They have…


Swans are from the Anatidae family within the Cygnus group. The nearest relatives of the swans are the…