THE hooded vulture is a very rare vulture only found in the far north east of South Africa.
Although usually silent, they do give thin, squealing calls at nest and carcasses.
Hooded vultures like open woodland and savanna, not commensal with man in South Africa.
They cannot compete with larger vultures at carcasses and pick up scraps that bigger birds drop or leave. They roost in trees at night and start to forage earlier in the morning, as they do not soar to great heights like other vulture species.
Apart from carrion, bones and offal they also feed on insects which they dig from dung and soil with their slim bill.
The breeding season is June to August. They lay one plain white egg in a nest, which is a platform of sticks lined with leaves, grass, hair and skin.
Incubation is 46 to 51 days and they are nestlings for 89 to 130 days, thereafter being dependant on their parents for about four months after their first flight.
The tribal name is Mavalanga and in Afrikaans, Monnikaasvoel.