how big is a vulture bird

New World editMain article:

The family Cathartidae includes the New World vultures and condors that can be found in warm, temperate regions of the Americas. They should be grouped with other predatory birds like hawks, eagles, and Old World vultures under the order Accipitriformes, according to recent DNA evidence[citation needed]. Some species are able to detect dead animals up to a mile away from great heights thanks to their exceptional sense of smell, which is uncommon for raptors. The seven species are:

Feeding edit

Vultures are scavengers, meaning that they eat dead animals. Vultures are the only known obligatory scavengers found outside of oceans. [20] They rarely attack animals that are healthy, but they may murder sick or injured animals. A carcass waits for a larger scavenger to eat first when its hide is too thick for its beak to open. [21] Vast numbers have been seen upon battlefields. When there is an abundance of prey, they fill up until their crops swell, then they sit and digest their meal while drowsy or partially inert. Instead of using their talons to carry food to their young, these birds disgorge it from their crops. The bearded vulture, which lives in mountains, is the only animal that specializes in eating bones. It hunts some live prey and brings bones to the nest for the young. [22].

As scavengers, vultures are very beneficial, particularly in hot climates. Vulture stomach acid is exceptionally corrosive (pH=1. 0[22]), enabling them to remove these bacteria from the environment and safely digest putrid carcasses contaminated with hog cholera, anthrax, and botulinum toxin that would be fatal to other scavengers[23]. New World vultures often vomit when threatened or approached. They lighten their stomach load to facilitate takeoff, not to “projectile vomit” on their attacker in defense, despite what some people claim. A predator may be distracted by the vomited meal residue, allowing the bird to flee. [24].

The dynamic interaction between vultures and predators like lions, cheetahs, hyenas, and jackals affects the food web of Africa in different parts of the continent. These bird scavengers closely monitor the hunting activities of these predatory animals, actively competing with them for food. [25].

Vultures have a reputation for being patient observers who wait patiently overhead or far below to see predators bring down their prey and begin feeding. The vultures dive in and maximize the leftovers after these powerful predators have satisfied their hunger and left their kills.

According to recent studies, these birds can react to auditory cues that indicate possible foraging opportunities in addition to their sense of sight. [26].

Vultures and predators do not always interact in a sequential or one-sided manner. Because they are opportunistic animals, vultures frequently take risks when a great opportunity presents itself. These big birds occasionally may arrive early in an attempt to steal morsels from the kill before the predators have completely left the area if they are low on prey or distracted. This audacious tactic, despite its high risk, highlights the intense rivalry and survival instincts common to the harsh realities of the African wilderness. [27].

Additionally, New World vultures urinate down their legs; the uric acid serves as evaporative cooling as well as killing bacteria that has accumulated from walking through carcasses. [28].

Apart from the California and Andean condors, there are other noteworthy vultures found in the New World. One of them is the black vulture (Coragyps atratus), which is sometimes mistakenly referred to as a carrion crow or a black buzzard. The most common vulture species worldwide, the black vulture, is found in the tropics and subtropics and frequently ventures far into temperate areas. About 60 centimeters (24 inches) in length, this chunky black bird has short wings, a bare black head, a short tail, and a feathered hindneck. Check out our exclusive academic rate and succeed this spring semester with our special offer for students!

The enormous Old World vulture of dry Africa is known as the lappet-faced vulture (Torgos tracheliotus), also known as the eared or Nubian vulture. Being 1 metre (3. 3 feet) tall, with a 2. 7-metre (8. 9-foot) wingspan, it dominates all other vultures when feeding. Its underparts have white down, and its upper parts are black and brown with a wedge-shaped tail. Its bare head has large folds of skin hanging from the sides. The face is pink or reddish.

Although they are widely found, vultures are not found in Australia or on the majority of oceanic islands. Although most vultures have a wide range of diets, including carrion, trash, and even excrement, they hardly ever feed on live animals. Occasionally, a few prey on defenseless animals like lambs, tortoises, or, in the case of Andean condors, young calves. With their long, broad wings, vultures can soar gracefully for hours at a time. Many birds may be drawn to a dead or dying animal from a distance of miles when one bird descends upon it. Vultures have a rigid social hierarchy during feeding that is based on beak strength and body size. Littler vultures have to wait for the leftovers that the larger, more dominant species leaves behind. However, almost all mammalian competitors, such as jackals, hyenas, and coyotes, outcompete even large vultures.

The king vulture (Sarcoramphus papa) is the most colourful vulture. The body is buff above and white below, the head and neck are red, yellow, and bluish, the eyes are white with red eye rings, and the neck fringe is gray. Its body is about 80 cm (31 inches) long, and its wingspan is approximately 2 meters. From southern Mexico to Argentina, king vultures can be seen soaring over tropical forests in pairs or individually.

Neophron percnopterus, commonly known as Pharaoh’s chicken, is a diminutive Old World vulture, measuring approximately 60 centimeters (24 inches) in length. It has a bare face, a cascading mane of feathers, and is white with black flight feathers. The range of this vulture includes Afghanistan and India, as well as southern and eastern Africa, the Middle East, and southern Europe.


What is the size of a vulture?

The cinereous vulture measures 98–120 cm (39–47 in) in total length with a 2.5–3.1 m (8 ft 2 in – 10 ft 2 in) wingspan. Males can weigh from 6.3 to 11.5 kg (14 to 25 lb), whereas females can weigh from 7.5 to 14 kg (17 to 31 lb).

Are vultures as big as eagles?

Turkey Vultures are large birds, only slightly smaller than eagles, but behave differently and live very different lives than eagles.

Is a vulture a big bird?

Turkey Vultures are large dark birds with long, broad wings. Bigger than other raptors except eagles and condors, they have long “fingers” at their wingtips and long tails that extend past their toe tips in flight. When soaring, Turkey Vultures hold their wings slightly raised, making a ‘V’ when seen head-on.

Are vultures bigger than turkeys?

Both birds are equivalent size with bald, featherless heads. However, female or juvenile turkeys like the one above are easier to differentiate since they are more slender and upright than a turkey vulture – the long legs and neck and larger size also set turkeys apart from other ground birds like pheasant and grouse.