21 January, 2010

Black Vulture

Scientific Name: Coragyps atratus

Population Estimate: 20M

Range / Habitat: Year-round throughout southeastern and southern US, Mexico, Central America and nearly all of South America.

Field Notes: Large black bird with grey, weathered head. Vultures characterized by large size, wheeling glides, finger-like wing tips. Easy to distinguish from Turkey Vulture in flight as Black Vulture will flap wings more frequently, does not appear headless and has silvery patches at wingtips.

Personal Notes: Common vulture in Mexico though we also have seen in Florida. The bottom photo is of the vulture perched atop Chichen Itza, which was quite dramatic.

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