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Bath Time | White-backed Vulture

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Species: White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus)

Location: Nairobi National Park, Kenya

A white-backed vulture spreads its wings to dry off after taking a bath. Contrary to how many people view them, as dirty and filthy birds, vultures take their hygiene seriously and will bath every day if they can. Nairobi National Park's vultures can be reliably found at their daily bathing spot every afternoon.

All of Africa's vultures have undergone steep declines in recent years and are threatened with extinction. The main reasons for this being:

  • Secondary poisoning from carcasses laced with poison to kill livestock predators like lions and hyenas. Any scavengers, like vultures, that feed on the carcass also die.
  • Targeted hunting in some parts of Africa for traditional use of their body parts, due to superstitious beliefs about them possessing magical powers.
  • Collision with, and electrocution by, electricity infrastructure such as power lines and wind turbines. This is a rapidly growing threat that affects nearly all bird of prey species in Africa.