Sexes alike. Blackish-brown plumage; almost naked head has whitish ruff around base; white rump (lower back) distinctive, when perched and often in
flight; in overhead flight, white underwing-coverts contrast with dark underbody and flight feathers. Young birds are brown and show no white on underwing
in flight. Increasingly becoming uncommon, now rarely seen at carcasses, slaughter houses, refuse dumps. When resting, the head and neck are dug into the shoulders; soars high on thermals; several converge onto a carcass; basks in sun.