Red-headed Vulture Showing Off
Ranthambore NP is all about tigers, naturally, but there are plenty of other wildlife highlights to enjoy. It has a very healthy vulture population, which is something special in India after >90% of all vultures died in the recent diclofenac and related environmental population crash. This one is doing something I have only rarely seen vultures do in Africa and never in India - spreading its wings as if to expose itself or dry its wings. I had never before realized that it had the bright red, featherless skin patches that you can see in the photo as these are usually covered up. We had luck in that a cow had died from natural causes and the vultures had a chance to gather around to get what they could before a Leopard or Tiger found the carcass and took it over for themselves. For those considering a trip to Ranthambore - this was in Zone 7.
The red-headed vulture , also known as the Asian king vulture, Indian black vulture or Pondicherry vulture, is an Old World vulture mainly found in the Indian subcontinent, with small disjunct populations in some parts of Southeast Asia.