Black Vulture

Black Vulture

CORAGYPS ATRATUS







Length, about 2 feet, with a 5-foot wingspan; weight, 4-1/2 to 6 pounds.




DESCRIPTION
Smaller than the turkey vulture, the black vulture has a short tail and a black head (not red). Airborne, it shows distinctive white patches on the undersides of the wings near the tips. These white patches are very noticeable in flight. Wings are held more
horizontally than the turkey vulture’s. Behavior, food, and nesting habits are similar to the turkey vulture. Eggs, usually 2 per clutch, are slightly larger than the turkey vulture’s and are gray-green, bluish white, or dull white, with brown blotches. Incubation, by both sexes, takes 28-39 days. Black vultures sometimes place bits of trash and broken glass in their nest areas. They are not as good at soaring as turkey vultures, and fly using several rapid wing flaps followed by a short sail. Although found primarily in the
southeastern United States, black vultures occasionally can be seen as far north as Maine.



STATUS
Black vultures are local summer residents in the state; we have nesting records from the Eastern Panhandle. They are winter
residents, also. Black and turkey vultures may be seen together.