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Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus)

Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus)

Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus)



Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus) Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus) Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus) Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus)

Class: Aves
Family: Cathartidae
Common Name: Black Vulture
Genus: Coragyps
Species Name: atratus

About The Black Vulture

Sharing much of its range with the larger Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura), the Black Vulture (23-27 inches) is most easily separated from the former by its featherless black head, short tail, and distinctive white “wrist” patches visible on the wings from below. Other field marks include a black body, black legs, and long wings. Male and female Black Vultures are similar to one another in all seasons. The Black Vulture inhabits much of the southeastern United States north to Pennsylvania and west to central Texas, with an isolated population in southern Arizona. This species also occurs from Mexico south to southern South America. Although Black Vultures are generally non-migratory, some birds move south from northern portions of this species’ range during harsh winters. Black Vultures typically breed and roost in dense woodland while feeding in more open habitats, such as grasslands, meadows, and fields. In some areas, Black Vultures also utilize man-made structures, such as abandoned buildings and utility poles. This species feeds almost exclusively on carrion, rarely killing prey itself. Due to this species’ need to scavenge for food, Black Vultures are most easily observed soaring high above the ground in search of carrion. Scientists have discovered that this species lacks the sophisticated sense of smell possessed by the Turkey Vulture, and that Black Vultures often wait for Turkey Vultures to find food before driving them off and taking the carcass for themselves. This species is primarily active during the day.



Rights Holder: Unknown
Bibliographic Citation: Rumelt, Reid B. Coragyps atratus. June-July 2012. Brief natural history summary of Coragyps atratus. Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C.

Trips Where Observed

Around The World in 66 Days
Brazil
Ecuador
Mexico to Panama
Mexico, Nayarit
Mexico, Veracruz
Panama
Texas

Member Lifelists

Ecuador
Mexico
New Jersey
North America
South America
United States
World

Sites Where Observed

Location
Date
Notes
11/11/2006
12/20/2006
10/10/2007
1/4/2008
Seen at airport.
7/15/2011
7/21/2011
3/4/2013
Seen from the car a few miles from the refuge.
4/14/2013
6/27/2019
7/2/2019
7/3/2019

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