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The adult Egyptian Vulture usually measures 85 cm from the point of the beak to the extremity of the tail feathers and 1.7 meters between the tips of the wings. It weighs about 2.1 kilograms.
The adult plumage is white, with some black feathers in the wings and tail. Due to its habits—stalking around carcasses on usually dusty ground to wait for its turn—the plumage dulls quickly, and birds before moult are beige rather than pure white. Also, individuals occasionally seem to "paint" themselves with soil containing iron oxide, as Lammergeiers do, turning their plumage a pinkish buff; hence the German name Schmutzgeier. Its facial skin is yellow, turning orange during nesting periods, and is devoid of feathers. The tail is diamond-shaped, so it is easily distinguished in flight. However, the shape of the tail means less speed and more manoeuvrability.
The nominate subspecies has a yellow bill with a black tip, whereas the smaller Indian race has an all-yellow bill.The nestlings are dark brown and gradually become lighter until they reach adulthood at the age of five.
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