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Thread: Himalayan Griffons @ Ranthambhore

  1. #1

    Default Himalayan Griffons @ Ranthambhore

    Iím posting here after a long long hiatus indeed but hope to make amends !

    The Himalayan Griffons (Gyps himalayensis) / Ranthambhore / February 2013.

    I made this image while tracking the elusive & legendary Machli (T-16) in Zone 4 of Ranthambhore. I found them perched atop a tree (presumably after having had their fill) while a huge flock of Indian Vultures (a.k.a Long-billed vultures) were feeding on a Chital carcass below. Initially all of us assumed these 2 individuals to be Juvenile Long-billed vultures since this species is seldom sighted in the plains / warmer climes.

    My naturalist friends there confirm that this was the first recorded sighting of this species @ Ranthambhore in over a decade.

    Although it was great to sight 9 Tigers in 7 safaris (including Machli), I guess my first ever sighting of the Himalayan Griffons was the real icing on the cake !

    Aperture Priority
    f 5.6
    ISO 320
    +1/3 EC
    Focal Length 400 mm
    Canon 60 D
    Canon 400 mm f/5.6 handheld
    Almost a Full Frame image (10% crop for compo)
    DPP : Apart from a bit of Gaussian blur applied on the distracting branches, smart sharpening, recovery of highlights done on this image.

    C & C please.

    Thanks !

    Attached Images Attached Images  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    New Delhi


    Welcome back. Nice to see these scavengers. Wish both of them were looking to our right in unison. That would have been even better. Did you click this in vertical or horizontal mode? The separation between the top frame and the bird is very less. So some more space would have been better. Similarly some more space at the bottom would have also been better. Thanks for sharing.


  3. #3


    Great sighting and a good image Vijay. they have been turning up in quite a few surprising locations, including far south. recent sightings include Trichur in kerala, Ramnagara and a possible sighting at Hesserghata near bangalore. what is intresting is that all the sightings are of Juv birds....

    As per wiki in the closely related Gyps fulvus 'Juveniles and immature individuals may migrate far or embark on long-distance movements'....seems to hold good for himalayensis as well.


  4. #4
    Join Date


    Nice sighting. Good eye contact of the bird on the right. Agree some more space would have strengthened the composition further. Good details and colours. The dry branches give a nice feel of the habitat. Look forward to more from Ranthambore. Thanks for sharing.
    Mrudul Godbole

  5. #5


    Thank you so much Sabyasachi Ji, Roopak & Mrudul Ji for your comments.

    Although it is absolutely great to know that the Juveniles migrate as far as down south, how I wish they aren't found anywhere near human settlements due to their susceptibility to toxicity induced by diclofenac, a drug which is residual in domestic animal carcasses.

    The 1st image was shot horizontally (with +1/3 EC by default) & subsequent shots attached herewith were shot vertically (with -2/3 EC). Although I've never been a fan of dull grey sky I've refrained from altering the BG. Apart from the normal smart sharpening & pulling down the exposure a bit as per the histogram, a bit of Gaussian blur applied to the branches to isolate the subjects. Request your critique & comments again please.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  6. #6


    Another shot but with direct eye-contact.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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