The huge size, unfeathered head and neck, and massive bill render this species unmistakable. In flight, the black wings contrast with the white body, and the head is tucked into the shoulders.
Juvenile like adult but has the head and neck covered with a sparse woolly down.
Not often seen outside major game reserves, where it scavenges at game kills, refuse dumps and abattoirs.
A low, hoarse, croak given when alarmed; claps bill when displaying.