We are cheered when we observe the vulture feeding on the carrion which disgusts and disheartens us, and deriving health and strength from the repast.
The chief towns are Potenza (pop. 1901, 16,186), Avigliana (18,313), Matera (17, 237), Melfi (14,649), Rionero in Vulture (11,809), Lauria (10,099).
As we glided nearer, the stranger showed French colours from his peak; and by the eddying cloud of vulture sea-fowl that circled, and hovered, and swooped around him, it was plain that the whale alongside must be what the fishermen call a blasted whale, that is, a whale that has died unmolested on the sea, and so floated an unappropriated corpse.
The largest bird is the condor, and there is another bird of the vulture tribe, with a black and white wing feather formerly used by the Incas in their head-dress, called the coraquenque or alcamari.
The sacred beasts in the various temples, tame as far as possible, were of almost every conceivable variety, from the vulture to the swallow or the goose, from the lion to the shrew-mouse, from the hippopotamus to the sheep and the monkey, from the crocodile to the tortoise and the cobra, from the carp to the eel; the scorpion and the scarab beetle were perhaps the strangest in this strange company of deities.
The consort of the Pharaoh, in turn, wore the sacred vulture head-dress.
Among the birds of prey may be mentioned, besides the cinereous and bearded vultures, the Spanish vulture(Gyps occidentalis), the African or Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopteras), which is found among all the mountains of the Peninsula, the Spanish imperial eagle (Aquila Adalberti), the short-toed eagle (Circaetus gallicus), the southern eagle-owl (Bubo atheniensis), and various kites and falcons.
The birds of prey are the same as those of central Europe, and include the sea eagle, alpine vulture (Gyps fulvus), buzzard, kites (Gypaetus barbatus and Milvus ater), hawks (e.g.
The California vulture is very rare; various species of hawks and golden and bald eagles are common.
MONTE VULTURE (anc. Vultur), a mountain of Basilicata, Italy, in the province of Potenza, the summit of which is about 5 m.