The Lammergeier, also called the Bearded Vulture, lives in mountains over a vast range of southern Europe (from the Pyrenees to the Caucasus), Africa (north, east and south) and Asia (from the Caucasus via Russia/Central Asia through to Tibet). It is resident in mountain areas rather than migratory, resulting in subspecies over its range. A large vulture with a wingspan of some 8 feet, it relies on carrion mainly from eagles, wolves and other predators and specialises in eating bone marrow, dropping large bones from great heights onto rocks to smash them.
Its head, neck and front plumage is white or off-white, or sometimes yellow or rufous, with black, badger-like bars from beak to back of the eyes.
Its head and neck, unusually for vultures, is fully feathered, due to its eagle/hawk ancestry. The small tuft of black hairs under its chin give rise to its alternative common name.
Its "shoulders" have white droplets on its grey-black wings like a jewelled cloak. It also has a ruby red eye-ring. Male and female have similar plumage, juveniles are dark all over.
Its closest relatives are the Egyptian and Palm-nut Vultures and, like them, it is the only species in its genus.