Monday, August 29, 2011

Black Vultures

Looking like attendees at an undertaker's convention, a hex of Black Vultures adorns an abandoned building in southern Ohio. I took this shot yesterday, in Adams County along the Ohio River. This species is not common and widespread in Ohio, which is at the (for now) northern limits of the black vulture's range. There are a smattering of hotspots for Black Vultures in the state, and Adams County, especially in the vicinity of Ohio Brush Creek, is one of them.

But Black Vultures are expanding, and overshoot migrants turn up well north of the normal range with increasing frequency, and their numbers seem to be increasing in traditional strongholds.

One still sees FAR more Turkey Vultures, and I took this shot not far from where the Black Vultures were perched. These are all Turkeys. Occasionally Black Vultures will mix in these flocks, but for the most part the two species remain rather separated in their habits.

Black Vultures become increasingly abundant as one moves southward, and if you make a trip to the Central American tropics, it'll likely be the first bird you see upon arrival. It'll be interesting to watch their northward expansion, and see what the status of Black Vulture is in Ohio and other northern fringe states in a decade from now.

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5 comments:

Heather said...

After seeing large roosts of black vultures in an Athens neighborhood this past winter, I will be keeping my eyes peeled for gatherings of them again this winter.

Birding is Fun! said...

Last fall, I traveled quite a bit for work in MD, DE, VA, NC and SC. I was amazed at how often I was seeing Black Vultures. One abandoned home had over 100 BV's all over it eating from garbage bags all around the place. Amazing and gross all at the same time.

Jack and Brenda said...

Hueston Woods State Park typically has some Black Vultures around the marina area.
I got this photo of one early this year in Florida, at the Merritt Island Nature Refuge.
http://www.pbase.com/jmhoying/image/132787176

Anonymous said...

I spotted a red head vulture today 4/23/14

Jenni said...

I live in Lancaster, OH and last week I saw a group of what I believed to be black vultures marching through my yard and then my neighbors yard. I managed to get a picture, but they were far enough away that it is hard to say for sure if they were black vultures. Today, they were back again, hanging out in my neighbors yard. My dog, a 65 lb boxer/lab, who typically barks at every robin and blue jay that flies by, just sat down and stared at them! I'm finding that these are very rare for the area and as creepy as I find the BV to be, I am hoping to get a better photo soon.
(Luna0647@live.com)