When full-grown it is nine or ten feet in extent of wings. It is brownish black above, with the under parts and neck rusty yellow; the forehead and crown white; the sides of the head and beard black. It feeds partly on carrion and partly on small animals, which it kills.
It has the habit of carrying tortoises and marrow bones to a great height, and dropping them on stones to obtain the contents, and is therefore called bonebreaker and ossifrage. It is supposed to be the ossifrage of the bible.