Black Vulture (Coragyps astratus)

Rosie joined our education ambassador team in the fall of 2017. He had been found as a fledgling by a private citizen who kept him as a pet before being confiscated by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Rosie was deemed non-releasable due to his habituation to humans.

Black vultures are vital players across North American ecosystems because they serve as decomposers within our complex food webs. These social birds of prey feast on dead animals and are frequently seen enjoying roadkill together on the side of the road. Vultures are frequently involved in car collisions themselves as a result, so drive carefully! Black vultures tend to be a bit smaller than their fellow North American vultures, the turkey vulture, and also have a black head while turkey vultures have a pinky-red head. Why do these birds a bald head in the first place? Vultures spend most of their day with their heads deep inside rotting carcasses – not the kind of stuff you’d like to carry around on your head feathers all day! Bald heads and legs help these wonderful birds stay clean while they help our natural environment stay clean as well.
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