Ending off Birds of Prey week, brought some challenges in selecting which final species to showcase. So many fantastic birds to upload. Then I realised that the vulture community (no, not politicians) had not been represented – after that, it was an easy decision. The king of the heap, the Lappet-faced Vulture, taken in the place listed as the park with the most diversity in Africa – The Kruger National Park. I was on a small dirt road near the Shingwedzi rest-camp, and came up over a small incline, to see two of these majestic creatures sitting on a small tree.
The wind was blowing and they both looked liked they going to take off at any second, so I quickly parked up, jumped across to the passenger seat, and got photographing. The first one took off and relocated to a larger tree a few hundred metres away, this individual sat for a few minutes longer, looking around. I managed to get a good sequence of flight shots as he took off and joined its mate. I do love seeing them in the wild as they are pretty difficult to see.
Some dictionary explanations for the meaning of the word, Lappet (I had to look this up too)
- a small lap, flap, or loosely hanging part, especially of a garment or headdress. See illus. under miter.
- a projecting, lobe-like structure in certain invertebrate animals.
- Ornithology . a wattle or other fleshy process on a bird’s head
Genus: Torgos, Kaup, 1828
Species: T. tracheliotos