Sunday, June 29, 2014

Teenage Vultures

The black vultures are back.  For those of you who wondered how those small pale balls of fluff could ever become solid black, here they are as teenagers.  They are now on day 50, walking around and using their wings for balance but no longer as crutches.
Day 15
Day 1








Their nesting period lasts from 70 to 98 days after hatching.  The chicks of the past three years would make little effort to escape when I arrived at the door of the stall but this year's chicks have been hiding behind some old doors until the last few days.  Finally I have been able to catch them out in the clear on this video.

Once they have fledged they will make flights across the field and occasionally out of sight.  Soon they will be soaring with the family, but like some human post-teen children who come back home to live, they will depend on their parents to feed them for up to 8 months.

Vulture families remain tight knit, sharing communal roosts with several generations.  This serves as a gathering place when they go out foraging.  Once they have found a carrion treasure, they will generally exclude non-relatives from their communal meal.

More on this All About Birds link.

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