Vultures Serve a Very Useful Purpose
Many people consider the vulture and ugly and dirty bird. They may be ugly but they are not dirty. Most of them keep themselves clean and they keep our world clean.
The black vulture's scientific name is Coragyps atratus.
They are found living in North America. They like residential living. They are found on roofs and trees. They also like wooded areas.
The black vulture is 22 to 26 inches long, and they have a 4 foot wingspan. They have a black and naked head. Their feet are brown. The are a New World vulture.
Their diet consists of carrion, garbage, eggs, chicks from other species and small reptiles. On rare occasions, they will attack baby pigs and lambs.
They are very social and will form groups containing hundreds of birds. They form groups for hunting and sleeping.
They find food by seeing it. They will also find food in cities on the streets.
The female will lay 2 eggs in a tree hollow or at the foot of a tree. The male and female will both incubate the eggs for 32 to 40 days until they hatch. The babies are extremely noisy and aggressive.
The black vulture is not threatened.
The lappet- faced vulture's scientific name is Targos tracheliotus. You will find the lappet faced vulture in parts of the Sahara, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and the Namib Desert. They like to live in semiarid and desert scrub areas. They will also be found in open grasslands and plains.
The lappet-faced vulture is 40 to 45 inches long, and they weigh 15 pounds. They have an 8.5 to 9 foot wingspan. The lappet-faced vulture has a head and neck that are bare and pink. The side of their face has lappets on it that are fleshy. They are one of the largest vultures.
Their main diet is carrion and they are known to catch, and kill live animals.. They will sometimes raid colonies of flamingos.
The lappet-faced vulture is considered vulnerable. This is because they are poisoned and killed by humans. Jackals will steal their food. Their young are preyed on by meat eating animals.
When it is not breeding season, they like to be alone. They will bathe as often as they can. They are usually very quiet. They like to move around during the day.
The Ruppell's vulture's scientific name is Gypa rueppellii. They are found in Central Africa, Serengeti plains, Tanzania and Kenya. They like to make their home in open savannas and semi-desert areas. They will nest in cliffs.
The Ruppell's vulture will weigh 15 to 18 pounds and their wingspan is 26 inches. The Ruppell's vulture has fabulous eyesight that they use to find food. Their talons are weak and their beak is strong and sharp. They use their large wings for gliding.
They eat carcasses of animals that are dead. They do not eat live prey.
They are losing part of their habitat but they are still very common.
They are extremely social and will live in groups that will often have over a hundred birds in them.
The Ruppell's vulture will go very long distances in search of food. When they find an animal carcass they will circle to let their friends know food has been found.
Storks and shore birds will prey on their eggs.
They will move around during the day and at night.
The palm-nut vulture's scientific name is Gypohierax angolensis.
You will find them living in parts of Africa. They like to live in forest edges along rivers, lakes and coasts where old palms are growing.
They eat fruit, grain fish, carrion and crabs. Their favorite food is the fleshy part of palm fruit.
They are the smallest old world vulture. The palm-nut vulture is 2 feet long with a 5 foot wingspan. They weigh 3 to 3.5 pounds. They are predominantly white and their back, tips of their wings and base of their tail are black. The bare skin on their face is red.
The female will lay her eggs, and they will hatch in 44 days and the babies will fledge in 90 days.
They are not considered threatened.
The white-headed vulture's scientific name is Trigonocepa occipitalis. The white-headed is found in Africa. They do not like living in forests or near humans. They like to live in savannas with trees. They will go to grasslands, thorn-bush, sub-desert and areas with little vegetation. They like to live in the lowlands, but they have been found up to 4,200 foot elevation.
The white-headed vulture is a scavenger that eats mainly skin, pieces of bone and carrion scraps. They will steal food from other birds. They also eat locusts, termites, bird eggs and fish.
They will build their nest at the top of a tall tree like an acacia or giant baobab. The nest is a deep platform made using sticks, and they line it with grass. The female will lay 1 egg in the nest. The egg will hatch in 51 to 56 days. The male and female will feed the baby. The baby will fledge in 110 to 120 days. They will go through their first molt at 12 months and will have their adult feathers by the time they are 6 or 7 years old. Some references say they will live to be 15 years old. There are others that say they will live 4 to 5 years.
They will start to hunt early in the morning. They will soar to 200 to 2,000 meters looking for food. They will sit on a perch, then find pieces of meat, bones and skin and take it away to eat alone.
They are threatened. Farmers hunt them because they feel they kill their cattle. They are also poisoned. Their habitat is also being lost to agriculture. Many of them are not breeding. They are also used in traditional medicine.
The turkey vulture's scientific name is Cathartes aura. They are found in areas in North America, especially the deserts of Southwestern United States. They like dry open country and ranch lands. They also hang out along where they can find road kill.
The turkey vulture is 32 inches long and has a 6 foot wingspan. They will weigh 3 pounds. Their body is brown/black in color. Their head is bare and red and their beak is white. They have feet that are yellow. Their flight feathers are silver/gray. They have a great sense of smell.
The turkey vulture is extremely family oriented. When several turkey vultures form a group it is known as a roost. There are turkey vulture roosts that have been together for over a hundred years living in the same place. They will separate and hunt for food alone.
The turkey vulture does not build a nest, but instead lay their eggs in a cliff hollow, logs or on the rocks that are on the ground. The male and the female will incubate the eggs and care for the babies.
The turkey vulture is basically a quiet bird.
The turkey vulture does not require much water as they will get most of what they need from their food. They have a great immune system that protects them.
The turkey vulture is very common and not threatened.
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