Like all vultures, Ruppell’s vultures have long, wide wings that let them glide on air currents. About two hours after sunrise, the ground begins to heat up, and the warm air rises, creating air currents called “thermals.” Ruppell’s vultures flap until they reach a thermal, then coast on it as they search the ground for dead animals to feed upon. A Ruppell’s vulture may stay in the air for about six hours each day!
These birds use their sharp, hooked bill to tear through the skin of a dead animalAny living thing that is not a plant. Most animals can move about freely. All use plants or other animals as food. All have sensory organs. as they hold it down with their clawed feet. A Ruppell’s vulture also uses its beakThe hard mouthpart of a bird and some other animals. The beak can also be called a bill. to tear off pieces of meat. Backward-facing spines on its tongue help scrape meat off of bones.
Although they are usually silent when they rest or fly, Ruppell’s vultures can become a squealing, noisy flockA group of birds or mammals. For example: a flock of sheep; a flock of ducks when feeding.