The New World vultures are a family of scavenging birds that includes the King Vulture. They are native to the Americas, and while they are similar to the Old World vultures of Africa, Europe and Asia, they are not closely related and their similarities are the result of “convergent evolution”. This occurs when two unrelated groups of animals develop the same traits or features to help them adapt to their environments.
The King Vulture is listed as a species of “Least Concern” by the International Union for the Conseravtion of Nature, though its numbers do appear to be declining due to habitat destruction. Though it is the only member of its genus Sarcoramphus, the naturalist William Bartram described a very similar bird during his travels to Florida in the late 1700s. This bird, called the “Painted Vulture”, is not known from any other accounts, and it’s still unknown whether Bartram had encountered a Florida population of King Vultures, or a new species entirely. It’s also possible that he was mistaken, or made up the encounter, though the mystery of just what the “Painted Vulture” was continues to this day.
- Recommended Age: 3+
- Size in cm: 7 L x 10.6 W x 7.3 H
- Size in inches: 2.76 L x 4.17 W x 2.87 H
The King Vulture is a large bird found in Central and South America. Like all New World vultures, it is a scavenger that feeds mostly on carrion, and features a head mostly lacking in feathers to make it easier to keep clean as it feeds. The King Vulture is noteworthy for its striking, brightly colored head, which features vibrant hues like orange, red and yellow.
Scientific Name: Sarcoramphus papa
Characteristics: King Vultures are known for their brightly colored, unfeathered heads. This particular vulture is in a hunched pose, perched on a rocky outcropping, with its wings spread. Scientifically accurate and hand-painted, this figure is full of intricate details.
Size and Color: This figure measures just about 4 ¾ inches from wing tip to wing tip. It’s just under 3 inches high and about 2 ¾ inches from its beak to the tip of its tail, about the size of a small index card. Our King Vulture figure features the bird’s distinctive white and black plumage, as well as the unique pinks, reds, oranges and yellows seen on its bald head. Its legs feature light gray scales and dark gray talons, and it stands on a rocky base painted in shades of gray.
- The King Vulture is part of the Wings of the World Birds collection
- All of our products are Non-toxic and BPA free