The primary structures of the hemoglobin components Hb A and Hb D of White-Headed Vulture (Trigonoceps occipitalis) are presented. The globin chains were separated on CM-Cellulose in 8M urea buffer, the components by FPLC in phosphate buffers. The amino-acid sequences were established by automatic Edman degradation of the globin chains and of the tryptic peptides in liquid phase and gas-phase sequenators. The sequences differ from those of European Black Vulture by only one mutation in the alpha A-chains (alpha 137). The alpha D-chains and the beta-chains are identical. This means that for the first time identical minor components in birds have been found. An updated list of identical globin chains is presented. Hb D exhibited a higher oxygen affinity than Hb A. At pH 7.5 and 38 degrees C P50 values of 0.80 and 0.64 kPa (6.0 and 4.8 mm Hg), respectively. Both hemoglobins showed similar Bohr factors displayed a pronounced sensitivity to inositol hexakis(phosphate), which increased P50 values of Hbs A and D to 4.0 and 3.6 kPa (30 and 26 mm Hg), respectively. The molecular and physiological significance of the findings is discussed with special reference to oxygen transport by hemoglobin at high altitude.