Beast

Vulture


Latin name: Vultur
Other names: Ammarata, Amraam, Amraante, Amraham, Fene, Hamraham, Kyrii, Lammergeier, Phene, Vautour, Voltoir, Voltour, Votoir
Category: Bird

The vulture is a slow-flying bird that eats corpses

General Attributes

The vulture follows armies to feed on corpses; it can predict the number that will die in battle. It flies slowly but very high, and can sense corpses across the seas and in high mountains, and can smell carrion three days journey away. When a corpse is found, the vulture first eats the eyes, then pulls the brain out through the eye holes.

Vultures nest in high mountains where people cannot go, so vulture chicks are never seen. It is said that all vultures are female, so the females conceive without mating with males. To conceive they fly against the south wind; if the wind is not from the south, they open their beaks to the east wind, so that the inrush of air impregnates them. Their period of gestation lasts for three years; vultures live one hundred years.

Some authorities say the vulture will take in and feed the rejected chicks of the eagle (something also said of the coot).

Allegory/Moral

Those who say that Christ's birth to a virgin is impossible are to look to the example of the vulture, which gives birth without mating.

Uses Magical, Medical, Alchemical and Culinary

The smell of burned vulture feathers drives away serpents. The vulture's heart, bound up in a lion or wolf skin, drives away demons. Its feathers bound to the left foot of a woman in childbirth makes the birth easier. An ointment made from vulture fat helps sinews. The right foot foot of the vulture bound to the left foot of a person, or the left foot of the vulture bound to the right foot of a person, relieves aching feet. A vulture's tongue plucked out with iron and tied around a man's neck allows the man to get what he desires. Vulture bone burned to ash heals sickness in beasts. The blood of the vulture mixed with certain herbs heals leprosy.