Black Vulture Coragyps atratus

  • Order: Cathartiformes
  • Family: Cathartidae
  • Polytypic: 3 subspecies
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Adult

Large with broad wings, a short tail, and a small head. Entirely black except for silvery patches on the underside of the wingtips. Note splayed wingtips or "fingers" in flight.

Adult

Hefty black bird with an unfeathered head and a pale bill.

Adult

Feeds almost exclusively on carrion, locating it by soaring high in the skies on thermals.

Adult

Perched birds are entirely black with a gray and unfeathered head.

Adult

Often roosts in stands of tall trees including sycamores, pines, hickories, oaks, junipers, and bald cypress.

Adult

Often spreads its wings to cool down or warm up by exposing the underwings.

Habitat

Typically roosts in groups in wooded areas and soars above open areas looking for food. Congregates around carcasses.

Recommended Citation

Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/blkvul