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Photographer: Quartl

Lammergeier Range Map (Europe, Africa & Asia)
Lammergeier Range Map (Europe, Africa & Asia)

Lammergeier in Flight
Lammergeier in Flight

Photographer: Richard Bartz

Latin Name Gypaetus barbatus
Conservation Status Least Concern
Location Europe, Africa & Asia
Colour Buff, Grey & Black
Length 1 - 1.2 m (3.25 - 4 ft)
Wingspan 2.3 - 2.8 m (7.5 - 9.2 ft)
Weight 4.5 - 7 Kgs (10 - 15 lbs)
Life Expectancy 22 Yrs (in the Wild)
Up to 45 Yrs (in Captivity)

Main Characteristics

The Lammergeier is one of the largest old world vultures. They have a body length between 1 and 1.2 m (3.25 - 4 ft), a wingspan between 2.3 and 2.8 m (7.5 - 9.2 ft) and they weigh between 4.5 and 7 kgs (10 - 15 lbs).

Lammergeiers have a buff coloured body and head with distinctive grey and black markings on their face. Their huge wings and wedge-shaped tail are grey/black in colour and they have beard-like feathers at the base of their bill. Unlike most other species of vulture, lammergeiers do not have a bald head, this is due to bones making up the main part of their diet.


Lammergeiers can be found at high elevations in mountainous regions of Europe, Asia and Africa. They live at altitudes between 300 and 4,500 m (984 - 14,764 ft) although they are mainly found at altitudes above 2,000 m (6,562 ft). They have extremely large home territories that range from 250 to 700 sq. kms.


Lammergeiers feed on carrion and bones. They carry large bones high into the air and drop them on rocks below. When the bones have shattered they feed on the marrow inside.


Lammergeiers breed once per year and they usually form monogamous pairs, although polyandrous trios can be found. They breed between October and July and 1 - 3 eggs are laid, although only 1 chick usually survives.

The eggs are incubated for 53 - 60 days and the chicks fledge at around 4 months old. Females reach sexual maturity between 7 and 8 years of age and males between 8 and 9 years of age.


Common ravens, golden eagles and griffon vultures are predators of Lammergeier chicks.


There are three subspecies of the Lammergeier:

Gypaetus barbatus aureus
Gypaetus barbatus barbatus
Gypaetus barbatus meridionalis

Interesting Facts

Lammergeiers are also known as:
Bearded Vulture

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