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The Griffon vulture is one of the largest birds of prey in Europe. Its incredible eyesight allows it to spot dead animals on the ground from a great distance. It then swoops down in wide circles and lands next to them.
It has a series of long white and tawny feathers at the base of its neck, while on the front of its wings and belly, the plumage is light brown. The rest of its body is dark brown. Its hooked beak allows it to tear off large strips of meat with ease. Its gray legs are rather weak, since they are not needed for capturing prey (unlike eagles or hawks).
This vulture is a gliding rather than flying bird (it barely moves its wings).
The griffon vulture usually flies at altitudes ranging from 1,800 to 3,500 meters above sea level. They are capable of traveling up to 300 kilometers in their search for food, especially when it comes to large mammals.
They live in colonies that sometimes group hundreds of pairs and, in places where the density of specimens is high, they can share nests with other species such as the Egyptian vulture or the bearded vulture. They usually reproduce at the beginning of the year, and do so by incubating a single egg for approximately fifty days. Care of the single chick is shared by male and female, and lasts just over 100 days.
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