[i.e., vulture-eagle] (רָחָם , racham', Le 11:18, and [with ה paragogic] racha'anah, רָח3מָה, De 14:17, prob. so called from its tenderness to its young; Sept. κύκνος, and πορφύριος, Vulg. porphyrio), probably a smaller species of vulture, the Vultur percnopterus of Siam (Bochart, Hieroz. 3:56). It is about the size of a raven, has an almost triangular bald and wrinkled head, a strong pointed beak, black at the tip, large eyes and ears, the latter entirely on the outside, and long feet. The''male is white, with black wings; the female has a brown body. It lives entirely upon carrion. It is called in Arabic zoology racham, the exact equivalent of the Heb. name (Freytag's Selecta ex Hist. Halelei, Paris, 1819, page 87), and is found in Arabia and Syria (Burkhardt, 2:681, 864; Russel's Aleppo, 2:195), and likewise in Egypt, the streets of Cairo being infested With this disgusting but useful bird (Hassenquist, Trav. page 195). SEE EAGLE. As to the identity of the bird in question, Gesner had already figured (De Aquila quem Percnopterum vocant, page 199) the Barbary variety, and pointed out the racham of Scripture as the identical species; but Bruce first clearly established the fact of its agreement with the Egiyptiasn variety, popularly called "Pharaoh's chicken." The rachama of the former writer is apparently the Ak-Bobha ("white father") of the Turks, and forms one of a small group of vulturidse, subgenerically distinguished by the name of Percnopterus and Neophron, differing from the other vultures in the bill being longer, straight, more attenuated, and then urinated, and in the back of the head and neck being furnished with longish, narrow, sub-erectile feathers, beet, like true vulture's, having the pouch on the breast exposed and the sides of the head and throat bars and livid. The great wing-coverts are partly, and the quill-feathers entirely of a black and blackish asb-color; those of the head, nape, smaller wing-coverts, body, and tail, in general white, with tinges of buff and rufous; the legs are flesh- color, and rather bong; and the toes are armed with sharp claws. The females are brownish. In aside the species is little bulkier than a raven, but it stands high on the legs. Always soiled with blood and garbage, offensive to the eye and nose, it yet is protected in Egrypt both by law and public opinion, for the services it renders in clearing the soil of dead carcasses putrefying in the sun, and the cultivated fields of innumerable rats, mice, and other vermin. Pious Moslems at Cairo and other places bestow a daily portion of food upon them, and upon their associates the kites, who are seen hovering conjointly in great numbers about the city. The racham extends to Palestine in the summer season, but becomes scarce towards the north, where it is not specially protected; and it accompanies caravans, feasting on their leavings and on dead camels, etc. Mr. Tristram says it breeds in great numbers in the valley of the Kedron (Ibis, 1:23). Naturalists have referred this vulture to the περκνόπτερος, or ὀρειπέλαργος of Aristotle (Hist. An. 9:22, 2, ed. Schneid.). The species indicated in the Scriptures is now generally admitted to be the white carrion vulture of Egypt, Percnoptersus Neophron AEgyptiacus which differs but slightly from the above description. With respect to the original imposition of the name Racham, as connected with any unusual affection for its young, there is no modern ornithologist who assigns such a quality to percnopteri more than to other birds, although it is likely that as the pelican empties its bag of fish, so this bird may void the crop to feed her brood. For the Arabian fables of the birds racham, see Bochart, Hieroz. 3:56. The Peresopterus is somewhat singularly classed, both in Leviticus and Deut., along with aquatic birds; and it may be questioned whether any animal will eat it, since, in the parallel case of Vultur aura, the turkey-buzzard or carrion- crow of America, and even the ants, have been found abstaining from its carcass, and leading it to dry up in the sun, though swarming etround and greedy of every other animal substance. SEE VULTURE. The Reverend G. E. Post, M.D., of Tripoli, Syria, suggests (Am. ed. of Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, s.v.) that the racham of Moses may rather be a kind of pelican (Pelecana onocratalas), founds in great numbers in Egypt and about lake Hubehe, and which he says is likewise called by the Arabs racham; but this needs confirmation. SEE PELICAN.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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