A very big bird with a bare quill protruding from the crown. Difficult to see in the Cauca Valley (Laguna de Sonso marsh) and lower Magdalena Valley where populations have declined severely due to habitat loss and hunting.

This image was taken in the Eastern llanos at the municipality of Arauca (Arauca Department), where healthy populations still strive in cattle farms and along small streams (“caños”) and swamps. In Colombia, this bird is known as “Buitre de Ciénaga” or “Aruco”, giving the name to the Department of “Arauca” for which it is the state bird and a strong identity icon.