Griffon Vulture

Griffon Vulture

Sam, I understand why you love large predatory birds. This is the second vulture I’ve researched/drawn and they are very cool.  The Griffon Vulture is an “Old World” vulture, which means they can’t smell their prey/food. They use their seven to nine foot wingspan, to soar high above looking for a carcass/meal. Since their beaks are weak/different and not meant for opening up the flesh of animals, they depend on other predators or larger vultures to begin the work of opening up the animal. But once that happens, they go to town and gorge themselves on up to 13 pounds of meat. Let me explain how much meat/food that is:

Competitive food eaters like Joey Chestnut, who holds a few records for eating large quantities in short time periods, like 191 buffalo wings in 12 minutes (7.61 pounds of wings). The Big Texan steakhouse has a steak that is 72 – 86 oz or around 5 lbs. of meat. A regular cheeseburger from McDonald’s is an eighth of a pound. A Quarter Pounder with Cheese, is yes: a quarter pound of meat. SOOOO, to equal what the Griffon Vulture eats in a sitting, you’d have to eat around 30 Quarter Pounders. And then fly away.

Lemme tell you something: If you ate 30 Q.P. with Cheese, your next stop is the hospital for an exploded spleen.

Least Concern

 

Griffon Vulture frame  love this gal.

Secretary Bird

SecretaryBird2_web

If you hate snakes, then I have the bird for you!

The Secretary Bird’s taxonomic name is “sagittarius sepentarius,” which translates to “the archer of snakes.” And, no, they don’t use snakes as arrows in target practice, but excellent and creative guess! The Secretary Bird is a magnificent snake hunter. They have many tools in their arsenal against snakes, one being long, heavily scaled legs (the longest legs of any predatory bird). They look like an eagle on top and a crane on the bottom.

There are two theories on the origin of the name “Secretary Bird”:

1. The feathers on the back of their head (a crest) reminded 19th century naturalists of the quill pens secretaries tucked behind their ears. Nerds.
2. The name derives from the Arabic “saqr-et-tair,” which translates to “hunter bird.”

Whatever you want to call them, they are beautiful, elegant, enormous, and super cool.