Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture - Birds of the Guyanas 17

in #birding3 years ago


The Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture (Cathartes burrovianus) is one of the five vulture species in Suriname. It greatly resembles the Greater Yellow-headed Vulture but it's smaller, more brown and prefers the coastal areas with open grasslands while its bigger cousin prefers the interior with its forest.


You see these birds often hovering in the sky on the look out for carrion which they also detect with their strong sense of smell, a quality which is rare for a bird. But you hardly see them on the ground or perched and this was the first time that I was able to take a couple of pictures of the Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture perched on a wire.


This is an older picture that I've posted before. Almost every day I see them in the sky like this and they are common in the coastal area where I live. This bird lives in southern Mexico, Central America and South America. They are not endangered and their population seems to be stable.

Strangely enough there are no breeding observations of this bird in Suriname. These birds don't build a nest but instead it lays its eggs on flat surfaces, such as the floors of caves, or in the hollows of stumps.


The Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture is not the cutest bird but it's fascinating to see them hovering in the sky. They seem to fly with such ease using the thermals to maintain altitude without flapping its wings.

Thanks for visiting my blog and happy birding.

PS Check out @birdersofsteem to see what other birders are spotting.


Vultures are such mean looking birds, but they do look majestic as they glide in the sky. In South Africa we see them on the ground, picking at the remains of some or other animal . Which particular vulture it is, I cannot say.

Indeed, they can look rather mean with their featherless heads.

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