Back in April, I noticed a black vulture family seemed to be nesting on our property. And now it's confirmed! We have a Black Vulture couple raising a single baby in an old building on our property. I love vultures because they help us clean up the property. They are always flying overhead, scanning for food, and they sun themselves by sitting with their wings open. They don't bother the guineas at all. They're not noisy, and they don't seem to socialize with owls or other bad birds that may kill my flock, so I'm cool with them. Black vultures are good birds.
From Wikipedia: The Black Vulture inhabits relatively open areas which provide scattered forests or shrublands. With a wingspan of 1.5 m (5 ft) the Black Vulture is a large bird though relatively small for a vulture. It has black plumage, a featherless, grayish-black head and neck, and a short, hooked beak. it's a scavenger and feeds on carrion. It finds its meals either by using its keen eyesight or by following other vultures, which possess a keen sense of smell. Lacking a syrinx—the vocal organ of birds—its only vocalizations are grunts or low hisses. It lays its eggs in caves or hollow trees or on the bare ground, and generally raises two chicks each year, which it feeds by regurgitation.
|These are not my vulture babies! For reference only!|
This first picture was downloaded off the web and shows what the babies are supposed to look like. It shows a pair of babies. For some reason, our vultures only have one baby.
The photos of my baby vulture were taken with a cell phone camera, so they're not the best pictures! We weren't prepared to take photos, but were in the area where we knew the vultures lived, and then we found a baby! The baby is in an old fallen down house beside the old barn on our property. There's a big piece of tin roofing leaning up against the wall, and the baby is tucked up behind the tin. The first time we saw the baby he was tiny and puffy and very fragile-looking! The parents stayed close-by and were not happy with us looking at their baby.
|Baby Black Vulture|
About 2 weeks later we went and visited the baby again. He had gotten bigger, although he's still a white puff-ball. One of the parents stayed with him when we first got there.
|Baby Black Vulture|
Then, to our horror, the parent vulture threw up! Boy, did it smell!!!
|Parent vulture throwing up!|
Shortly after barfing, the parent flew up directly overhead us the the baby and kept watch from up there! I guess she didn't like the smell of her vomit, either! The smell was just too bad and we quickly left the area before we vomited, too!
After I returned home, I researched why vultures vomit. I read that if they are scared, they will vomit to make their bodies lighter for quick flight. I also read that vultures vomit toward a perceived threat and the foul smelling vomit deters most predators, as it did me!
I'll keep an eye on the little vulture baby growing up on Razzberry Corner and will bring my camera to get better photos to share next time!
Have a Nice Weekend!