Adventures in Vet Techin'

83 notes

thejunglenook:

Q: How can we quickly tell a Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus) from a Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) in the field? 

1. ColorationOther than the obvious head coloration differences (which you may / may not be able to spot when in the field) Turkey Vultures have a light underside to their flight feathers, giving them a two-toned appearance across their wings. Black Vultures have white shafts on their outer six primaries and white patches or ‘stars’, so their two-toned appearance is limited to the wing tip region.
2. Wing Shape
The Turkey Vulture has a greater dihedral angle (angle of the wings angled above horizontal) when compared to the Black Vulture’s soaring on horizontal (or slightly above horizontal) wings.  Of course, if you happen to be watching a mixed group of vultures you can also make an easy ID just by noticing the larger wingspan of the Turkey Vulture.

3. Tail Shape
Turkey Vultures have a long, rudder-like, round tail that extends well past their toes while in flight. Black Vultures have short bluntly rounded tails that hardly extend past their toes. 
4. Flying Style
Because Turkey Vultures are so light (64oz average with a 5 1/2 ft wingspan) so they can soar the thermals for extended periods of time with little to no flapping. When wing flapping is required, the wingbeats are measured and deep. (ex. Flap———— Flap ———— Flap———-) Being a (relative) lightweight isn’t all grace, these guys have a characteristic rocking motion to their soar as they get buffeted by thermal currents.Black vultures have a shorter wingspan and are heavier birds (68 oz average with a wingspan just shy of 5ft) so their wingload is higher and they rely on strong high thermals to stay aloft. They have shallow almost frantic wing beats in three to five rapid clusters. (Flap-Flap-Flap———- Flap-Flap-Flap-Flap———)

Bonus points go out to hyaenabee, ktsaurusr3x, primestigma, nomchimpsky for their excellent answers.Pun points to arrowsforpens because I really wish it was simply a difference of a pinion.

Read more about vultures here, here, here, and here! 

thejunglenook:

Q: How can we quickly tell a Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus) from a Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) in the field? 

1. Coloration

Other than the obvious head coloration differences (which you may / may not be able to spot when in the field) Turkey Vultures have a light underside to their flight feathers, giving them a two-toned appearance across their wings. Black Vultures have white shafts on their outer six primaries and white patches or ‘stars’, so their two-toned appearance is limited to the wing tip region.

2. Wing Shape

The Turkey Vulture has a greater dihedral angle (angle of the wings angled above horizontal) when compared to the Black Vulture’s soaring on horizontal (or slightly above horizontal) wings.  Of course, if you happen to be watching a mixed group of vultures you can also make an easy ID just by noticing the larger wingspan of the Turkey Vulture.

3. Tail Shape

Turkey Vultures have a long, rudder-like, round tail that extends well past their toes while in flight. Black Vultures have short bluntly rounded tails that hardly extend past their toes. 

4. Flying Style

Because Turkey Vultures are so light (64oz average with a 5 1/2 ft wingspan) so they can soar the thermals for extended periods of time with little to no flapping. When wing flapping is required, the wingbeats are measured and deep. (ex. Flap———— Flap ———— Flap———-) Being a (relative) lightweight isn’t all grace, these guys have a characteristic rocking motion to their soar as they get buffeted by thermal currents.

Black vultures have a shorter wingspan and are heavier birds (68 oz average with a wingspan just shy of 5ft) so their wingload is higher and they rely on strong high thermals to stay aloft. They have shallow almost frantic wing beats in three to five rapid clusters. (Flap-Flap-Flap———- Flap-Flap-Flap-Flap———)

Bonus points go out to hyaenabee, ktsaurusr3x, primestigma, nomchimpsky for their excellent answers.

Pun points to arrowsforpens because I really wish it was simply a difference of a pinion.

Read more about vultures here, herehere, and here

Filed under wildlife birds vultures reference


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