Trained White Vultures

In my previous posts I had mentioned about intelligence in birds and they were mostly about parrots, pigeons and crows. The birds of prey in the wild too have a high intelligence, the levels vary. In fact no living bird is truly stupid. As juvenile birds grow in to independent adults, their inborn genetic information and skills watched and picked up from the parent birds help them survive in the world.

It is in this juvenile state, the birds of prey are captured from the wild. They are then trained for various purposes. Training these birds is a lengthy and complicated process and a license to train such birds have to be obtained. Owners soon realize how smart the wild birds are and it is very different from owning and caring the pet birds.

At Jurong Bird Park, Singapore, we witnessed the trained White Vultures showing off their skills, and the trainers constantly rewarding them with bits of meat. It was interesting to note how the Vultures assessed the size of the eggs and accordingly devised strategies to break them. The smaller ones were raised and dropped on a hard surface and for bigger ones they used stones. They would pick a reasonably big sized stone and drop it on the egg.

Read another interesting story here: The intelligence of vultures

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49 Responses

  1. Juliana RW says:


    My Entry this week, in HERE. I hope you could visit as well. Thanks

  2. Karen says:

    Very cool photos, especially that last one, where you have caught the stone dropping. Interesting facts about the vultures, thanks for posting it..

  3. eileeninmd says:

    What a cool and interesting post on the trained Vultures. The White Vultures are very pretty. Thanks for sharing your critter.

  4. Indrani: What a neat story of the vulture, nice looking bird.

  5. Misty Dawn says:

    WOW! That is really interesting! Definitely a lot of intelligence there.

  6. Mohan says:

    White Vultures! haven't seen one yet, thanks for sharing the pics.

    Interesting story on their intelligence to earn their *meat*

  7. Gaelyn says:

    Interesting that your white vultures have feathered heads. They are majestic looking. All life has its own form of intelligence to survive. Amazing, isn't it?

  8. Snap says:


    Looks like you had a good time in singapore. Wonderful and interesting post about the white vultures. I learn something new everyday. Thanks!

  9. Anya says:

    Hi Indrani
    Great story of the vulture !!
    Its a very cute bird he/she looks so fluffy normal have birds a tight plumage …… πŸ˜‰
    Birds are very intelligence,
    we had always two parakeets at home
    (Before Kareltje of course πŸ˜‰
    and they were tame and they are walking on the table with small toys from my girls,
    it looks the same as your bird πŸ™‚

    Have a relaxing weekend

  10. Ravishankar says:

    Nice post. Wonderful photos of the white vultures as well.

    I had read in some book that egyptian vultures are use stones to break open ostrich eggs. Ostrich eggs are bigger in size and hard to break and hence it has adopted this technique to break it open.

  11. Diane says:

    that's pretty incredible!

  12. chubskulit says:

    Wow, very impressive..

    My first Camera Critters entry is here

  13. How interesting, I'm glad they use reward methods for training.

  14. Hazel says:

    dropping a stone on the egg – that's some training indeed. I forgot about how vultures can be and just thought them cute doing those tricks. I wasn't aware a license had to be obtained to train birds. Thanks for the info.

  15. sujata says:

    The white vultures are really pretty, and also intelligent!

  16. Babli says:

    Amazing to see the white vultures trained so beautifully. The vultures look very sweet.

  17. wow that is amazing i have never seen a white one before

  18. I guess they are rare birds. We must preserve them.

  19. They look lke skinny old men in feathered coats!

  20. chhabi says:

    Again this time a nice story with your photograph.

  21. Diane AZ says:

    Fascinating how the birds had different ways to break the eggs depending on size. Very smart!

  22. How nice to have witnessed the vultures at work! I like Jurong Bird Park – a really great tweety place

  23. Pietro says:

    Indrani, these are fabulous shots in a very informative post.
    Have a great week!

  24. GMG says:

    Hi Indrani, just a short visit to drop by and see this interesting post!!

    Blogtrotter is now at Santa’s Homeland, an anticipated gift before Christmas πŸ˜‰ Enjoy and have a great week!

  25. Hilary says:

    I am learning more and more just how very intelligent some birds are. It's fascinating. You captured some wonderful shots here. Nicely done!

  26. Arun says:

    Thats an interesting read. And liked the first pair of pictures where you realize that the vulture is dropping the egg..

  27. Jeevan says:

    very interesting! sure it might gone through hard training to be pretty. Nice shots.

  28. Interesting… and lovely pics.. !!

  29. Bhavya.B says:

    Your way of description and pictures are awesome.I never used to care about the avian species before.

  30. Wow… She's a brainy… Is she from IIM (Lolz..)!!!
    My Travelogue

  31. radha says:

    And to think we associate the term bird brained with the lack of intelligence.

  32. Sharodindu says:

    Welcome back Indrani!
    Itz really amazing!I liked to post very much….
    I had no idea about so many strategies to break an egg πŸ™‚

    he he

  33. chrome3d says:

    Those vultures are so lucky. Food is an integral part of their hobby!

  34. Very interesting. Wonderful read of the information especially on the part where they know how to devise in breaking their eggs.

    Just been recently wondering how you are. I seem to get lost from everyone! Thanks for the visit. Much appreciated.

  35. Prospero says:

    The last photo, with the -stone as a tool- is fascinating. No bird brains here.

  36. I had no idea these (or any) birds were so smart!!! I always thought birds lived by instincts alone!! Amazing Indrani!!

  37. Ribbon says:

    Indrani these shots and information are wonderful.
    I would like to link to this in my next post as I have also been posting about birds recently.

    I'll let you know when I create the link.

    best wishes
    Ribbon πŸ™‚

  38. Great info and amazing snaps Indrani!!

  39. Wow! I love photos where you catch something almost by accident, like that stone dropping in the last photo πŸ™‚
    Absolutely beautiful, wonderful creatures πŸ™‚
    I have pics like this, shot by accident and caught my cats yawning πŸ˜›

  40. Ayie says:

    that's new to me…trained vultures? that must be good to see!

    happy Wednesday!

  41. Nice shots !! Great post !!

  42. Wonderful! I have a thing for vultures, don't ask me why, they just appeal to me, maybe because they aren't 'conventionally' pretty. These white birds are delightful (and talented) (and pretty)!

  43. Manz says:

    Perfect post with incredible photos!

    Both words and images clearly educate one on the level of intelligence.

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