Monday, August 22, 2016

V of A-Z in the Nature Series



Vultures

Two species of vulture occur in Florida, the turkey vulture (Cathartes aura) and the black vulture (Coragyps atratus).

Turkey vultures have reddish heads while the heads of black vultures are black. The turkey vulture holds its wings in a slight "V" while soaring, whereas the black vulture's wings are held straight. The tail of the black vulture is usually more fanned out in flight and is shorter and broader than that of the turkey vulture.

The black vulture flaps its wings more and soars less than its relative. From below it has whitish patches near the tips of the wings, whereas the wings of the turkey vulture lack these patches.


Vultures eat carrion in the form of road-kills or dead cattle in pastures. Black vultures are more aggressive and may occasionally kill or injure lambs, calves, cows giving birth, or other incapacitated livestock.

Vultures are under state protection, therefore it is unlawful to shoot or harass them without a permit from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.  If, however, the vulture is tearing up a screen porch, or chewing up shingles or roofs, then you may want to consider scaring them with Pyrotechnics.

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