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.
As White-rumped. Nests colonially exclusively on cliff ledges and buildings.
Formerly common breeding resident except in extreme south and Sri Lanka. Now globally threatened for unknown reasons and very local. Most frequent in large wildlife sanctuaries.
Quieter than White-rumped.