The Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus) is a scavenger bird native to the Americas, playing a crucial role in maintaining a clean and healthy ecosystem. You can find these fascinating birds in our Birds of the Americas exhibit. Let’s learn more about their diet, habitat, size, and conservation status, as well as some interesting facts that make the Black Vulture stand out.
Black Vultures, like other vultures, are scavengers, primarily feeding on carrion (dead animals). They are opportunistic feeders and will consume a wide variety of carcasses, from small mammals and birds to larger animals like deer. They play a vital role in cleaning up the environment by consuming carcasses that might otherwise spread disease.
Black Vultures inhabit a wide range of habitats, including forests, grasslands, deserts, and wetlands. They can be found from the southeastern United States to Central and South America. These birds are social creatures and are often seen roosting in large groups, typically in trees or on man-made structures like buildings and bridges.
Size and Weight
Black Vultures are medium-sized birds, with a wingspan of about 4.9 to 5.6 feet (1.5 to 1.7 meters). Their body length typically ranges from 22 to 27 inches (56 to 69 cm), and they weigh between 4 to 6 pounds (1.8 to 2.7 kg). Both males and females are similar in size and appearance.
The Black Vulture is currently listed as “Least Concern” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. Their population is considered stable, and they are widespread throughout their range. However, they may face some local threats, such as habitat loss, poisoning, or persecution due to their scavenging habits.
Visit the Black Vulture at the Abilene Zoo
Be sure to stop by our Birds of the Americas exhibit during your visit to the Abilene Zoo to observe the captivating Black Vulture. These birds play a critical role in maintaining a balanced ecosystem, and by learning more about their habits and adaptations, you’ll gain a newfound appreciation for these often misunderstood creatures.