Thursday, November 13, 2014

Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus)

November 5th, 2014. I came upon this wake (group) of Black Vultures on my morning ride. Usually, I find vultures around a carcass close to the road and they fly off as I approach. 

This carcass was back from the road. The vultures weren’t too bothered by my presence and I was able to get some reasonably good images.

And I learned some interesting terms for gatherings of vultures. According to Wikipedia, group of vultures is called a wake, committee, venue, kettle, or volt. 
Kettle refers to vultures in flight. 
Committee, Volt, and Venue refer to vultures resting in trees. 
Wake is reserved for a group of vultures that are feeding. 

Identification resource:


Kay G. said...

My husband and I saw a black vulture resting on a tree at Arabia Mountain. Just the day before, I had been collecting seeds at Panola Mountain and the Ranger told us that black vultures use more energy to perch on a tree than they do when they are in the air, using the thermals to keep them aloft.
Interesting to see one the very next day in a tree holding on with those massive claws.
I can see that could take some energy!

JSK said...

I think they probably use a lot of energy just getting around on the ground too. They are a 'bulky' bird and seem to 'jump-walk', rather than walk like other birds. to heave their bulky bodies around.