Cinereous Vulture

This species is defined as a Review Species. Please submit your records of this species via our record submission page.

Scientific Name: Aegypius monachus
Malay Name: Hering Hitam
Chinese Name: 秃鹫

Large contiguous breeding range across the Himalayas to Mongolia and North-east China. Winters mainly in Northern India and Middle East, small numbers in Korea. Also some disjunct breeding population towards France. Vagrant to Southeast Asia.


Size: 100-120cm

Large, sooty vulture, with hefty bi-coloured bill and wedge-shaped tail. Head has dark down feathers with blueish-grey patches of bare skin. Juveniles have blacker plumage, with bare skin pinkish instead of blueish-grey. Told apart from Himalayan Vulture by darker plumage, larger bill, and presence of dark down feathers on head.

Similar looking species: Himalayan Vulture

Habitat: Hill/mountain forests, scrub, meadows and grasslands.

Behaviour/Ecology: Feeds on carrion, likely to hunt mainly by vision.

Local Status: Probable vagrant

Conservation Status: Near Threatened (BirdLife International 2021)

Featured articles:

Past accepted records in our database:

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):

BirdLife International. (2021). Aegypius monachus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021. Accessed on 1 January 2023
Meyburg, B.-U, Christie, D. A., Kirwan, G. M., & Marks, J. S. (2020). Cinereous Vulture (Aegypius monachus), version 1.0. In del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D. A., & de Juana, E. (Eds.), Birds of the World. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.
Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.