Black Vultures

A Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus) is a large, mostly black bird with a bald, wrinkled, charcoal-black head and an up to 5 foot (1.5 m) wingspan. I observed this Black Vulture and quite a few others along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.

Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus)

After the daily rains of the Costa Rican rainy season, these Black Vultures would spread their impressive wings to dry them.

Black Vultures (Coragyps atratus)

Like other vultures, Black Vultures feed on carrion, but they are also opportunistic predators and will prey on vulnerable baby birds and animals, and not being too particular about their food (for a vulture), they will also eat ripe or rotting fruits and vegetables.

Black Vultures are quite aggressive and flocks of them will drive away other scavengers like the more solitary Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura) from animal carcasses. Black Vultures are normally silent, but they can be heard hissing and barking when fighting over carrion.