Content tagged with "scavenger"

Black Vulture

Photo of two black vultures standing on the ground
Coragyps atratus
Although turkey vultures are much more common in Missouri, black vultures are expanding their range northward, and sightings of them are increasing. Note their black head, shorter tail, and (seen from below) a white patch near the ends of the wings. More

Black Vulture (Closeup)

Closeup photo of a black vulture's head as it picks at food on the ground
The black vulture has a large, black body with a naked black head. As with turkey vultures, their featherless heads are a hygienic adaption for a life of eating from sloppy, smelly carcasses. More

Black Vulture Soaring

Photo of black vulture soaring
Seen from below, black vultures in flight tend to hold their wings horizontally (not in a shallow V), with the wingtips stretching somewhat forward. The wings are mostly black, with a white patch near the outer end of the wing; the tail is short. They usually alternate between a series of three to four flaps and soaring. More

Black Vultures

Photo of two black vultures standing on the ground
Although turkey vultures are much more common in Missouri, black vultures are expanding their range northward, and sightings of them are increasing. Note their bumpy, black, featherless heads and short, stubby tails. More

Black Vultures Feeding

Photo of a group of black vultures feeding on a coyote carcass
Like turkey vultures, black vultures feed on carrion. Black vultures commonly follow turkey vultures to find food, and groups of them often aggressively drive off the turkey vultures. Black vultures tend to stay in tight-knit family groups. More

Missouri's Vultures

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Photo of a turkey vulture in flight
These creatures of bad habits serve as nature's cleanup crew. More

Opossum

photo of opossum
Although opossums are famous for "playing possum"-pretending to be dead when threatened-they will hiss in conflicts with other animals or if cornered. More

Turkey Vulture

Photo of a turkey vulture in flight
Cathartes aura
This “buzzard” is perhaps the most commonly seen soaring bird in our state. Identify it from below by its shallow V-angled wing posture and two-toned pattern, with the forward edge of the wings black and the trailing half gray or silvery. More