Skip Navigation

Species Search:
FieldGuidesthreatened and/or endangered search resultsthreatened and/or endangered

previous  | next

Black Vulture Coragyps atratus


enlarge +

Black Vulture
credit:  Mdf/CCSA

All Images


Get Our Newsletters


Advanced Search

Family: Cathartidae, American Vultures view all from this family

Description ADULT Has blackish plumage, except for silvery white primaries. Bald head and upper neck are gray with a wrinkled texture. Bill is relatively slender and pale-tipped. JUVENILE Similar to adult, but with dark head, neck, and bill.

Dimensions Length: 22-24" (56-61 cm); Wngspn: 4' 6" (1.4 m)

Habitat Very common resident in southeast, favoring range of open habitats; visits garbage dumps. Some birds migrate south of region in fall.

Observation Tips Hard to miss.

Range Eastern Canada, New England, Rocky Mountains, Southeast, Plains, Texas, Florida, Mid-Atlantic, Southwest, Great Lakes

Voice Mostly silent.

Discussion Compact vulture with all-dark plumage. In flight, note the broad wings and silvery white tips (primary feathers), most striking when seen from below; tail is proportionately short. Soars and glides with wings almost level. Gregarious when feeding on carrion, and when roosting. Often perches with wings outstretched. Sexes are similar.