Bible Bird – Gier Eagle (Egyptian Vulture)

Gier-eagle,

“But these are they of which ye shall not eat: … And the pelican, and the gier eagle, and the cormorant,” (Deuteronomy 14:17 KJV)

Gier eagleHeb. raham = “parental affection,” Leviticus 11:18 ; Deuteronomy 14:17 ; RSV, “vulture”), a species of vulture living entirely on carrion. “It is about the size of a raven; has an almost triangular, bald, and wrinkled head, a strong pointed beak, black at the tip, large eyes and ears, the latter entirely on the outside, and long feet.” It is common in Egypt, where it is popularly called “Pharaoh’s chicken” (the Neophron percnopterus), and is found in Palestine only during summer. Tristram thinks that the Hebrew name, which is derived from a root meaning “to love,” is given to it from the fact that the male and female bird never part company.

Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) Flying ©WikiC

The name Gier Eagle is no longer used. It is known by other names today, such as; Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) or White Scavenger Vulture, or Pharaoh’s Chicken.

Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus)
18 day old ©WikiC

Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) Egg ©WikiC

“The Egyptian vulture  is a small Old World vulture and the only member of the genus Neophron. It is widely distributed; the Egyptian vulture is found from the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa to India.”

Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) ©WikiC

“It is widely distributed; the Egyptian vulture is found from the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa to India. The contrasting underwing pattern and wedge-shaped tail make it distinctive in flight as it soars in thermals during the warmer parts of the day. Egyptian vultures feed mainly on carrion but are opportunistic and will prey on small mammals, birds, and reptiles. They also feed on the eggs of other birds, breaking larger ones by tossing a large pebble onto them.”

Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) ©WikiC

“The use of tools is rare in birds and apart from the use of a pebble as a hammer, Egyptian vultures also use twigs to roll up wool for use in their nest. Egyptian vultures that breed in the temperate regions migrate south in winter while tropical populations are relatively sedentary.” Wikipedia

Whatever this bird is called, I still wouldn’t want to eat it.

Bible Birds

Wordless Toucan

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