Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Black Vultures’

There were a lot of Black Vultures (Coragyps atratus) on Monday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, including one that smiled for me as as it posed for a portrait. The vulture was perched in a tree that so close to the edge of the trail that I had to zoom out to capture its entire body in the second shot. I am not sure why the Black Vultures were not flying much, but during the day I spotted a dozen or so vultures roosting together in different areas of the refuge.

Generally I see Turkey Vultures, which have bright red heads, more  often than Black Vultures, though we do have both species in our area. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, “Turkey Vultures have an excellent sense of smell, but Black Vultures aren’t nearly as accomplished sniffers. To find food they soar high in the sky and keep an eye on the lower-soaring Turkey Vultures. When a Turkey Vulture’s nose detects the delicious aroma of decaying flesh and descends on a carcass, the Black Vulture follows close behind.”

With respect to the large group of Black Vultures roosting together, apparently that it normal behavior. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology notes that,  “Black Vultures are monogamous, staying with their mates for many years, all year round. They feed their young for as many as eight months after fledging, and maintain strong social bonds with their families throughout their lives. Black Vultures roost in large flocks in the evening, using the communal roost as a meeting place where foraging groups can assemble and adults can reconvene with their young.”

Perhaps the final captured captured a pre-Christmas family gathering of Black Vultures. I wonder how they celebrate the holidays.

 

Black Vulture

Black Vulture

Black Vultures

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

Peering through the vegetation at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge this past Monday, I spotted several large birds at the edge of the water. I thought they might be eagles or ospreys, but they turned out to be Black Vultures (Coragyps atratus) that appeared to be foraging as the tide was going out.

Black Vulture

Black Vulture

Black Vulture

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

I suddenly realized that all my photos of the Black Vultures that I posted were close-up shots. Here’s a shot of what two of them looked like when they were roosting in a tree. I really like the look of the tree, especially the branch on the right side. The sky was almost white today and the two vultures were virtually silhouettes. It’s kind of a creepy image—maybe I need to save it for Halloween next year.

vultures_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: