Black Vulture: Coragyps atratus
Distribution and Habitat
The black vulture can found in Southern North America and throughout South America.
Black vultures can be found in open areas within forested landscapes. They typically nest in wooded areas and soar above open areas to seek their food.
The tail is very short and rounded. They have small, bare heads and narrow but strongly hooked bills. These birds are uniform black except for white patches or “stars” on the underside of their wingtips (this can be hard to see in strong light or from far away). The bare skin of the head is black.
In the U.S., black vultures are outnumbered by their red-headed relatives, Turkey Vultures, but they have a huge range and are the most numerous vulture in the Western Hemisphere.
Black Vultures lack a voice box and so their vocal abilities are limited to making raspy hisses and grunts.
Although Black Vultures and their relatives live only in North and South America, the oldest fossils from this group—at least 34 million years old—were found in Europe.