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Coragyps atratus atratus
In the Everglades, this wake of black vultures found a large alligator carcass, which is unusual as they typically scavenge on mammal carrion. Around 50 birds encircled the site and prepared to eat. Some roosted in spanish moss-covered trees and appeared sleepy (photo 6) -- perhaps their bellies were full? In photos 1, 2 and 3, you can see a juvenile black vulture who’s ready to feed with the adults. His neck feathers run to the top of his head. The video (https://vimeo.com/338375875) shows the overall scene and demonstrates that the black vultures’ beaks are tough enough to tear the alligator's hide. As grotesque as it may seem, these birds are integral to the upkeep of an ecosystem, especially nutrient recycling, and don’t allow much to go to waste.
Spotted on a backcountry roadside, next to a body of freshwater in Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida.
This marks spotting #700! :)
Lat: 25.76, Long: -80.90
Spotted on Dec 20, 2015
Submitted on May 25, 2019
and 1 other person favorited this spotting