put on your faces – american black vulture

Close-up of an American black vulture (a.k.a. black vulture; Coragyps atratus) (2009_02_22_011039)

American black vulture (a.k.a. black vulture; Coragyps atratus); adult

Close-up of an American black vulture (a.k.a. black vulture; Coragyps atratus) (2009_02_22_011038)

American black vulture (a.k.a. black vulture; Coragyps atratus); adult

[regal: I believe that is the word I would use to describe these birds; photos taken at White Rock Lake]

10 thoughts on “put on your faces – american black vulture”

    1. Thank you, Clive! I think I sat and watched these two for almost an hour as they preened, chatted with each other, and pretty much enjoyed a sunny afternoon without too much worry. Seeing them up close and personal like that really did have an undeniable presence–especially given their size.

    1. Thanks, Mike! I had to laugh about seeing the sky through the nostrils: I’m always fascinated by little quirks like that and it was one of the first things I noticed about that photo.

  1. “see the sky…,” heh heh.

    Handsome bird! Or is she gorgeous?

    Their range is south of here and I’ve only seen them in the air a couple of times. It’s wonderful to see such beautiful close-ups!

    1. Good question on the gender, Jain. There were two of them side-by-side atop an old stump. They flew into the woods together and settled near each other. But since they’re gregarious like their turkey vulture cousins, I’m not sure seeing the two of them together means anything (like are they a mated pair?). I’d like to think it was a male and a female given the time of year–as in time to plan a family.

      And thank you! I’m glad you like them. I often forget they don’t range as far north as turkey vultures do.

  2. these are pretty excellent ‘up in his grill’ shots, heh heh. As many black and turkey vultures as I see, I have extremely few (and very crappy) photos of them. Hm, i should try to get a decent one.

    When I was doing field work in the Hill Country a couple years ago, i was in this more or less dry wash looking for my GCWA’s and about peed on myself when three black vultures came flushing out of this little cave/underhang thing. It was so weird, cause who would think of them hanging out there? There were several mountain lions on that field site too and so I kinda freaked out.

    That is my story. AGain, awesome photos, Jason 🙂

    1. You’re far too kind, Jill. Thank you! And “up in his grill” is a hysterical way to describe them. Thankfully the birds let me get close. Closer than I imagined they would.

      I’m really surprised about the black vultures coming out of the cave/overhang. Mind you, I don’t know as much about their behavior and habits as I should, but that doesn’t strike a bell with me as what I would expect. I’ve seen hundreds of them spending the night on a single electrical tower–literally a mountain of black that is breathtaking to see–hence I’d be taken aback like you at the idea of them spending time in enclosed quarters. Cool!

      Oh, and I hope you got to see one or more of the mountain lions. Cougars are high on my list of things to photograph–and always high on my list of things to see as often as I can.

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