A large raptor in varying shades of beige and brown with a yellow bill, white thighs and ruff and bare, dark brown head and neck with scattered white fluff. The dark flight feathers and tail form a striking contrast to the pale underparts. Other features are broad wings, small head, long neck and short tail. Sexes alike. Immature even paler with pale head and neck and grey bill. This is a peninsular vulture recently separated from the northern Slender-billed, G. tenuirostris, which has a plain dark head and neck and a dark and slender bill.
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.