Those cute Black Vultures


Okay, so Black Vultures (Coragyps atratus), aren’t so cute.  I just said that so you would read this post.  Pretty sneaky, eh?  Anyway, Katie, (her blog), loves the Turkey Vultures and I had promised to do a post about them.  Well, I’m sorry, Katie, but they, the Turkey types are gone for awhile, so maybe you can learn to love these. 🙂  For the un-informed, turkey vultures have a red head and the black vultures are, well, all black.

Ann and I were at the Spring Creek and Middle Concho parks that are near Lake Nasworthy, doing some local birding when we came across these.  The light was pretty good, partly cloudy, so I could get some shots that were not over-run with harsh shadows.  They had been feeding on a nearby armadillo carcass  Their fast-food place is called Carrion Carry-out.  Okay, old joke, courtesy of Gary Larson, sorry. 🙂

Black Vulture

Black Vulture

Black Vulture

Even though the light was better, it still is difficult to bring out the details in the overall blackness of their coat when they are back-lit.

Photo Info:  Canon EOS 7d with 100-400mm lens, aperture priority, spot metering and auto ISO on all images.  The first was created at an earlier date, the bottom two were photographed Sunday morning.

Photo 1:  1/640 sec. @ f10 – plus 1/3 EV – ISO 320

Photo 2:  1/640 sec. @ f7.1 – plus 1/3 EV – ISO 800

Photo 3:  1/640 sec. @ f7.1 – ISO 1250

Click on any image to see an enlargement.

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18 thoughts on “Those cute Black Vultures

  1. I’m honored! I love Black ones too, but they weren’t as popular back East when I lived there. I think they are cute. 🙂 And I haven’t seen a Black Vulture in far longer than a Turkey Vulture, so much appreciated. Great photos of these weirdly handsome birds. 🙂 And thanks to all the Vultures for the things they do. And thank you, Bob for the images!

  2. Maybe not so “cute”, but still interesting looking birds! I think you did a GREAT job of capturing the detail in the black, and that’s not easy to do!

    …. “Those Cute Black Vultures”….. you crack me up!!! 😀

  3. Their Job many not be glamours but so necessary. Where would we be without them. Just like the garbage man we would miss him a lot sooner than we would the Mayor if he did not show up to work. Three Cheers for the Black Vulture.

    • You are so right, Carolyn. We would definitely miss them and the Turkey Vultures both. And, in their own right, there is a simple beauty about them as they soar above, not to mention their intricate feather patterns, that Syl mentioned below. Thanks for commenting. I appreciate it.

  4. You are right..cute?? but a necessity for the eco balance. I will say one thing, check out the feathers on your second image and intricately designed they are…we have turkey vultures here. Have a good day…

  5. Bob, you’re right on the money describing those big birds. They’re not very popular but their contribution to nature is very important. Great shots!

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