From the (now defunct) Ancient Egypt Site:
"Nekhbet (Nechbet) -- The goddess Nekhbet is often represented as a vulture,
as a woman with the head of a vulture or as a woman wearing the Atef-crown.
Her primary cult centres are located in the ancient cities of Nekheb (Elkab)
and Nekhen (Hierakonpolis), situated across each other on both banks of the
Nile in the South of Upper-Egypt. Her name means 'the one of Nekheb.' Her
most important epithet 'the White One of Nekhen' relates her to
She is the personification of the White Crown of Upper Egypt, and as such,
she is associated with her Lower-Egyptian counterpart, Uto. Both goddesses
are often represented together, crowning the king . By extension, she is not
only the goddess of the White Crown, but also the patron goddess of
Upper-Egypt. As a vulture-goddess, Nekhbet is the goddess of heaven,
sometimes related to the sun when she is called 'the Eye of Re' and other
times to the moon. She is also the protectress of the king and of the
non-royal deceased. As such, she is represented as a vulture extending one
wing to the front, the other to the ground, flying above the person she is
"Nekhbet -- 'She of Nekheb' Vulture-Netjer associated with both the land of
Upper Kemet itself and its protection, and the protection and symbolism of
the White Crown (Hedjet), Nekhbet is often depicted as a full vulture,
flying over the head of the ruler bearing the feather of Ma'at and a shen,
the circular symbol for eternity, grasped in Her claws. On depictions of the
Udjat, She is often accompanied by Wadjet, the cobra-Netjer of the North,
and symbolizes one half of the Two Lands which make up Kemet politically.
Her head was mounted on the nemes-headdress of rulers alongside Wadjet's
uraeus or cobra-head (witness the beautiful vulture on the forehead of King
Tutankhamen's funerary mask), and a vulture-headdress was worn by the chief
queen/consort from the New Kingdom forward, identifying her both with
Nekhbet and with Mut of Uaset."
"The Egyptian vulture-goddess of the city of Nekheb in Upper Egypt, the
Eileithyaspolis of the Greeks, and the modern Al-Kab. She was the tutelary
goddess of Upper Egypt in very early dynastic times. From city goddess she
was elevated to the status of protectress and mother of the king. Together
with the snake-goddess Buto she was portrayed on the head of the Egyptian
king. Nekhbet is present at the birth of gods and kings. As the protectress
of the infant monarch she was referred to as the 'Great White Cow of
"Since the time of the New Empire she is very popular as the goddess of
childbirth. She is also a sun and moon-goddess. Her name means 'she of
Nekheb.' Nekhbet was depicted as a woman, either with the vulture headdress,
or with the head of a vulture. Sometimes she was portrayed as a vulture
wearing the white crown of Upper Egypt and holding the symbols of eternity
in her talons. Nekhbet and Uatchit divided between them the sovereignty of
Repeated images of Nekhbet in vulture form from a monument in Egypt.
Nekhbet with her staff.
Nehkbet (right) and Uto crowning the king.