The Himalayan vulture or Himalayan griffon vulture is an Old World vulture. Closely related to the European griffon vulture and once considered a subspecies of it, this species is found along the Himalayas and the adjoining Tibetan Plateau. It is one of the two largest Old World vultures and true raptors. It is classified as near threatened by IUCN.
This is a huge vulture, and is perhaps the largest and heaviest bird found in the Himalayas. Adults have a ruff that is long and pale brown with white streaks. The Himalayan vulture perches on crags, favorite sites showing white marks from regular defecation. They tend to not range below an elevation of 1,215 m (3,986 ft). Himalayan vultures often bask in the sun on rocks. They soar in thermals and are not capable of sustained flapping flight. Flocks may follow grazers up the mountains in their search for dead animals. This vulture makes a rattling sound when descending on a carcass and can grunt or hiss at roosts or when feeding on carrion. They have been recorded eating carrion exclusively, some which is fed on even when putrid. On the Tibetan Plateau 64% of their diet is obtained from dead domestic yak (Bos grunniens). They feed on old carcasses sometimes waiting a couple of days near a dead animal.