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White-backed Vulture

Maree  Clarkson

Tarlton, South Africa

Artist's Description

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm
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Africa’s most common large vulture, the White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus) is an accomplished scavenger that feeds on the carcasses of Africa’s large animals and is one of a group of 8 species occurring in Africa. Its plumage is dark brown with black skin on the neck and head, making the white lower-back, for which it is named, even more prominent.
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The white-backed vulture has black eyes and a strong, hooked black bill, contrasting with its pale crown and hindneck. As they age, the plumage of white-backed vultures becomes paler and plainer, especially the female’s; conversely, juveniles are darker, with lighter brown streaks on their feathers.
Info from Arkive
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Vultures have historically been grouped with other raptors on the basis of their overall appearance. Often seen soaring high in the sky, they are often mistaken for hawks or eagles.
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However, it has recently been determined that the seven species of New World vultures are more closely related to storks than to the hawks and eagles with which they were originally grouped. Unlike all other raptors, vultures are not birds of prey. They feed solely on carrion, preferring animals that have been dead for two to four days. African White-Backed Vultures have no natural predators, except humans.


1st June 2013 – FEATURED in “Top Shelf Wildlife”
18th June 2013 – FEATURED in “Image Writing”
20th June 2013 – WINNER in the challenge VULTURES of Afrika/AASVOËLS van Afrika in ‘Afrikaans’
29th June 2013 – FEATURED in “Cards: Best of the Best”

Artwork Comments

  • Elizabeth Kendall
  • Maree  Clarkson
  • AndreaEL
  • Maree  Clarkson
  • Magriet Meintjes
  • Maree  Clarkson
  • Kanages Ramesh
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  • Elizabeth Kendall
  • Maree  Clarkson
  • Xandru
  • Maree  Clarkson
  • janeflowersart
  • Maree  Clarkson
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