My husband and I took a drive down to the New Jersey shore this week, as the weather was very un winterlike, with temps in the 50’s. On the way, we passed a tall structure which we found out was a water tower disguised to look like a lighthouse. As I approached it to take a photo I realized something was sitting on the edge of the roof.
It turned out to be a Black Vulture- a bird I had never seen before. I looked it up when I got home and found the following:
The black vulture is a scavenger and feeds on carrion, but will also eat eggs or kill newborn animals. In areas populated by humans, it also feeds at garbage dumps. It finds its meals either by using its keen eyesight or by following other vultures, which possess a keen sense of smell. Lacking a syrinx—the vocal organ of birds—its only vocalizations are grunts or low hisses. It lays its eggs in caves or hollow trees or on the bare ground, and generally raises two chicks each year, which it feeds by regurgitation. In the United States, the vulture receives legal protection under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. The common name “vulture” is derived from the Latin word vulturus, which means “tearer” and is a reference to its feeding habits. The black vulture is a fairly large bird of prey, measuring 56–74 cm (22–29 in) in length, with a 1.33–1.67 m (52–66 in) wingspan.
A fellow Vulture flew in while I was standing there- I guess it’s always good to have a friend around.
Not the most attractive bird I have ever seen, but a thrill to add a new spotting to my list!