lammergeier

lammergeier

[lam-er-gahy-er, -gahyuhr]
noun
the largest Eurasian bird of prey, Gypaëtus barbatus, ranging in the mountains from southern Europe to China, having a wingspread of 9 to 10 feet (2.7 to 3 meters) and black feathers hanging from below the bill like a mustache.
Also, lammergeyer, lammergeir.
Also called bearded vulture.


Origin:
1810–20; < German Lämmergeier literally, lambs' vulture (from its preying on lambs), equivalent to Lämmer, plural of Lamm lamb + Geier vulture (cognate with Dutch gier)

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World English Dictionary
lammergeier or lammergeyer (ˈlæməˌɡaɪə)
 
n
Also called: bearded vulture, (archaic): ossifrage a rare vulture, Gypaetus barbatus, of S Europe, Africa, and Asia, with dark wings, a pale breast, and black feathers around the bill: family Accipitridae (hawks)
 
[C19: from German Lämmergeier, from Lämmer lambs + Geier vulture]
 
lammergeyer or lammergeyer
 
n
 
[C19: from German Lämmergeier, from Lämmer lambs + Geier vulture]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

lammergeier

(species Gypaetus barbatus), big eaglelike vulture of the Old World (family Accipitridae), frequently over 1 m (40 inches) long, with a wingspread of nearly 3 m (10 feet). Brown above and tawny below, the lammergeier has spots on the breast, black and white stripes on the head, and long bristles on the "chin." Eaglelike features are the feathered face and legs, curved beak, strongly prehensile feet, and long curved claws. The lammergeier inhabits mountainous regions from Central Asia and eastern Africa to Spain. It usually nests on ledges of cliffs, laying one or two whitish eggs about 10 cm (4 inches) in length. It feeds on carrion, especially bones, which it drops from heights as great as 260 feet (80 m) onto flat rocks below. The bird thereby obtains access to the marrow of the bones that have broken

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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