Close to the end of the film, after Mowgli escapes from Kaa, the four vultures are bored and trying to think of something to do (a running gag consists of Buzzie asking Flaps "so what are we gonna do?", only to get an "I don't know" in response). They eventually spot Mowgli and decide to investigate him, at first poking fun at his "stork"-like legs. Hurt, Mowgli walks away, not caring if they laughed, and the vultures feel sorry for him, sympathizing with him since they themselves aren't always the most popular animals in the jungle. To lift Mowgli's spirits, they sing That's What Friends Are For, accidentally giving Shere Khan enough time to discover and corner Mowgli. As Baloo holds off Shere Khan, the vultures take Mowgli to safety and then help him scare the fierce tiger away with fire. In the end, they remark how dull it's going to be without Mowgli around, and go back to wondering what they should do to pass the time.
The vultures once again appear in the jungle, this time accompanied by a new member, Lucky, who takes every opportunity he can get in making fun of Shere Khan. They are first seen as Shere Khan is making his way to the man village to extract revenge on Mowgli. The vultures introduce Shere Khan to Lucky who continues to make remarks until Shere Khan vanishes. Later on Lucky begins to taunt Shere Khan yet again but the Vultures, knowing Shere Khan's power, begin to worry and call Lucky back to the trees. He ignores their warnings and they begin to leave themselves until Lucky mentions Mowgli in the jungle. The vultures try to tell Shere Khan otherwise but to no avail. Right after Lucky is attacked and apparently killed, the other vultures fly away in horror (though at the near the end of the film it is revealed that he survived).
Their number, appearance, hair, look, and talk are freely based on the British rock group; The Beatles. During production, the development staff had beside thoughts of the famous band to voice the four vultures. But because of an extra work planning, John Lennon declined the offer.
Their song "That's What Friends are For" is a barbershop-style song rather than the 60's classic rock one would expect from their Liverpool accents.
The reason for their song not being in the style of '60s rock is because Walt Disney thought it would be too dated.
As shown in concept art, there would have originally been a fifth vulture named "Beaky", but he was dropped. In The Jungle Book 2, he was replaced by another Vulture named Lucky.
Despite being the most talkative, Ziggy has the fewest lines of all the vultures in the original film. (In fact, at one point, he speaks with Flaps's voice.)
The vultures are similar to The Crows from Dumbo, where they start off making fun of protagonists at their lowest lows as outcasts (Dumbo having big ears for the Crows, Mowgli having "stork-like" legs for the Vultures), and when it upsets the protagonists so badly they soon changed their attitudes and became more supportive of their respective protagonists. In Dumbo's case is due to Timothy Mouse's lecture about Dumbo's sad story, while for Mowgli's case it's the vultures' own decision to sympathize Mowgli.
The vultures' portrayal as allies appear to be a complete subversion of the common portrayal of vultures as villainous animals in most fictional stories.
In the 2016 version of the Jungle Book, vultures do appear, but unlike in the 1967 version, they are aligned with Shere Khan, whom they follow, scavenging from his kills and indicating his presence with screeching cries before he physically appears.