Behaviors of a Black Vulture (also known as Golero or Chulo)
We've seen these birds flying above our heads ever since the first day we arrived to Colombia. Initially thought it was the famous Andean Condor - the largest flying land birds in the Western Hemisphere, which often reaches a wingspan of up to 3 meters/10 ft. But with time we found out that what we had seen actually was, still a scavenger as the condor, but the slightly smaller one called Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus). With a wingspan of 1.5 m (5 ft) the black vulture is a large bird though relatively small to be a vulture.
This bird is common from the southern USA, through Central America and throughout most of South America except the extreme south and parts of the Andes. The black vulture is often found around cities, towns and other habitations where it feeds on refuse. The bare grey head with folds of skin and a warty look that you might see above is an adaptation to its life as a scavenger and besides garbage dump, it also feeds off any size of animal carcass as well as dead fish, eggs or they kill and eat newborn animals.
Vulture meeting in the park. They usually congregates in large groups.
Instead you'll find the vulture digging around garbage dumps. Does this make them cowards? They're waiting for someone else to kill the food for them. I guess most of us meat eating humans are just the same.
The walk they walk. They look very gracious when flying with the wide wings spanned out, but when they're down on the ground, they all have a sort of limping movement, giving them the impression of being very very old and tired men.
Apparently the vulture has an excellent vision but no ability to smell - which makes sense, eating dead dirty meat and trash from the dump, I too would like to have zero sense of smell. Another interesting thing to say about these fascinating birds, is that they often enjoy defecating on its legs in order to cool down from a hot summers day. This process is known as "urohydrosis". Exactly that is maybe not a practice to imitate, but there sure is something we all can learn from the beautiful and odd creatures with which we share this planet.