Birds of prey

Griffon vulture

Become a donor

Make a donation

Griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus)

The griffon vulture is a large diurnal bird of prey.



It is found in Europe (including Bulgaria), Asia and Africa. It inhabits mountains, highlands, steppes, semi-desert and rocky areas. The majority of populations are non-migratory.


Lifestyle and nutrition

It eats dead animals. It spends the day looking for food, gliding at a great height, practically invisible to the human eye. As soon as it notices the carcass of a dead animal, it descends sharply with half-folded wings. When one of the vultures spots food and swoops down to it, the others immediately follow. Fighting over the corpse of the dead animal is common.



The griffon vulture nests on high cliffs, sometimes forming small colonies. It returns to the same nest every year. It lays in January, and molting lasts 48-53 days. Both parents brood the eggs. The birdie leaves the nest at the age of about 3 months. The griffon vultures are monogamous birds.


Nature protection status and conservation

The griffon vultures are strictly protected species in Bulgaria. They are found in the Eastern Rhodope Mountains, where about 30 pairs nest. The species was considered extinct in the country in the 70s of the twentieth century. In 1978, a small colony was discovered next to the Studen Kladenets dam with one breeding pair. After serious targeted nature protection actions by the Ministry of Environment and Water, Bulgarian Society for Birds Protection and other non-governmental organizations (declaring protected areas, artificial feeding and monitoring), the population is growing and today it can already be said that it is stabilized. Within the Balkan plan for the protection of vultures, the artificial return of the species to Stara planina Mountain is envisaged.