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American black vulture

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 ( 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! :)

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Tukup 6 months ago

Thanks Mauna. Boy, I better go buy my white cane while I can still pick out the color :-) I was looking for a little heart. It's a great big one. I think I can see it now :-)

mauna Kunzah
mauna Kunzah 6 months ago

Tukup, it's nice to see that you're back for a bit. Thanks so much! In the new/current layout, the favorite button is that heart-shape found directly above the spotting's photo.

Thank you for your kind comments, António, Neil and Armadeus. Poor alligator, indeed!

Tukup 6 months ago

It appears I don't have the option to "Favorite" anything this morning. The last couple weeks I've been transitioning back to the States for a few months and see many changes to the site this morning. I will favorite this spotting (and others) as soon as I'm able. We see these birds quite often and I am always impressed by them.

Tukup 6 months ago

Hi Mauna. I've been wondering if it would work out to have a special spotting for #700. Vultures are cool :-) Thanks for sharing and congratulations on #700.

Very cool spotting to mark your 700 one Mauna,congrats and thanks for sharing

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 6 months ago

This is such an amazing spotting. Vultures are intelligent animals, and it's quite a sight to see them at work. Loved the video too. Poor old alligator though. Congrats on this milestone spotting, Mauna.

armadeus.4 6 months ago

This is a wonderful spotting to celebrate #700! Great series. Thank you for sharing Mauna :)

mauna Kunzah
Spotted by
mauna Kunzah

Florida, USA

Lat: 25.76, Long: -80.90

Spotted on Dec 20, 2015
Submitted on May 25, 2019

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