|American Black vulture
Length: 22 inches Wingspan: 54 inches
Large, broad-winged, soaring bird
Tail short and squared-off
Rather long, thick, gray legs
Longish, hooked, dark bill
Holds wings flat while soaring and gliding
Flies with several quick flaps and a brief glide
Unfeathered, gray head and throat
Plumage entirely black except for whitish outer primaries
Immature similar to adult
The Turkey Vulture is also dark with an unfeathered head, but has a much different shape in flight. The Turkey Vulture is long-winged and long-tailed and flies with a pronounced dihedral angle to the wings. Turkey Vultures lack the white patch at the wingtips and show contrast between paler flight feathers and darker coverts. Eagles are larger with feathered heads and different patterns of white in the wings and tail. Dark morph hawks have longer tails usually with white markings and feathered heads.
Length and wingspan from: Robbins, C.S., Bruun, B., Zim, H.S., (1966). Birds of North America. New York: Western Publishing Company, Inc.
|A common New World vulture, the American Black Vulture, or Black Vulture, Coragyps atratus, tends to have a more southerly distribution than its compatriot, the Turkey Vulture, which breeds well into Canada.|