The vulture is a carrion-eating bird, whose medieval reputation was for greediness and gluttony. It’s characterized by the lack of feathers on its face. The vulture was also called a “gripe” in period blazon [Bossewell II.118]. It’s a period charge, found in the canting arms (German Geier) of Geyer von Osterberg, 1605 [Siebmacher 34]. The vulture is close by default.
The vulture should be drawn as the European form of the bird, and not as the buzzard of the New World. The latter is deemed a step from period practice. For related charges, see eagle.
Serlo of Litchfield bears: Gyronny gules and Or, a vulture close sable.
Edvard Gayer bears: Argent, two vultures rising respectant, wings inverted and addorsed, a chief engrailed sable.