The Griffon Of Cyprus

The Largest Pray Bird in Cyprus

The Griffon Vulture is a majestic and impressive bird of prey that can be found in the beautiful island of Cyprus. These magnificent creatures are known for their large size, powerful wings, and keen eyesight, making them one of the most iconic and important species in the island’s ecosystem.

With a wingspan of up to 2.8 meters, the Griffon Vulture is the largest bird of prey in Cyprus, and their impressive size allows them to soar effortlessly through the skies, covering vast distances in search of food. These birds are highly adapted to their environment, with strong and powerful beaks that allow them to tear through tough animal carcasses, their primary source of sustenance.

A Pair of Voltures
A Griffon Vulture in Troodos

Food and feeding

The Griffon Vulture is a scavenger, feeding on the remains of dead animals, and plays a crucial role in the ecosystem by cleaning up carrion and preventing the spread of disease. Their keen eyesight and acute sense of smell enable them to locate carcasses from great distances, and they often congregate in large groups to feed on a single carcass, creating a spectacular sight for onlookers.

These birds are also known for their impressive flying abilities, often soaring to great heights on thermal currents, allowing them to cover large distances with minimal effort. Their distinctive silhouette and graceful flight make them a captivating sight for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.


Back in the 1950s, there was hundreds of Griffon Vultures flying across Cypriot skies. Unfortunately, the Griffon Vulture population in Cyprus has faced significant challenges in recent years, with habitat loss, poisoning, and illegal hunting posing serious threats, driving to the brink of extinction. Conservation efforts have been implemented to protect these magnificent birds, including the establishment of protected areas and the monitoring of nesting sites.

Vulture Rescue From Spain

Based on a recent census, the vulture population in Cyprus numbered around 29 birds. Some of these birds imported from Spain and the island of Crete.

One of the most successful conservation projects in Cyprus has been the reintroduction of captive-bred Griffon Vultures into the wild. With the support of dedicated conservationists and local communities, these efforts have helped to increase the vulture population and ensure the long-term survival of the species.

A symbol of Cultural and Historical Significance in Cyprus

The Griffon Vulture is also a symbol of cultural and historical significance in Cyprus, with the bird featuring prominently in ancient mythology and folklore. These majestic creatures have long been revered for their strength, power, and grace, and are an integral part of the island’s natural heritage.

For visitors to Cyprus, the opportunity to witness these magnificent birds in their natural habitat is a truly unforgettable experience. The rugged and diverse landscapes of the island provide the perfect environment for Griffon Vultures, and with careful conservation efforts, their population is slowly recovering.


The Griffon Vulture is a truly remarkable bird that holds a special place in the hearts of the people of Cyprus. With their impressive size, powerful flying abilities, and important role in the ecosystem, these birds are a symbol of strength, resilience, and the natural beauty of the island.

Through continued conservation efforts, we can ensure that future generations will have the opportunity to witness the awe-inspiring sight of Griffon Vultures soaring through the skies of Cyprus. The Griffon Vulture is found in the Troodos Mountains in Cyprus.

By Charlie

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