|Common Name||Black Vulture|
|Scientific Name||Coragyps atratus|
|Type of Report||Out-of-Season|
|Date of Observation||12/19/2016|
|Reporting Observer's Name||Kenneth Cox|
|Mailing Address||28 North Puckerbrush Road|
South Reading, VERMONT 05153
|Names & Emails of Other Contributing Observers|
|Latitude of Observation||0|
|Longitude of Observation||0|
|Place Name||Rocky Ridge|
|Vermont eBird Checklist URL||ebird.org|
|Time of Day||11:45 AM|
|Length of Time Observed||10 minutes (approx.)|
|Maximum Estimated Distance from Bird (in feet)||13,600 ft (2.6 mi)|
|Minimum Estimated Distance from Bird (in feet)||300+/- ft|
|Noteworthy Weather Conditions|
Details were not recorded but conditions generally can be described as clear sky, sunny, air temperature around freezing.
|Optical Equipment Used for Observation|
Kowa 88 mm Prominar Scope with 20 - 60X eyepiece. Maximum power was used to observe bird at maximum distance.
|Observer’s Previous Acquaintance With This or Similar Species|
Both observers are quite familiar with identification characteristics of Black and Turkey vultures.
|I certify that that attachments included with this report were captured during this observation event.|
|Description of Habitat|
Rocky Ridge located in Westminster, VT has a north - south alignment and is situated due west of Interstate 91. Ridge elevation is approximately 1,100 ft msl. Vegetation is predominantly forest.
Observers were located at Boggy Meadows Farm off River Road South in Walpole, NH. Bird was first sighted flying south along ridgeline. Maximum observation distance even with aid of scope presented an identification challenge. Enough detail was seen (large all black bird with wings held at a slight dihedral) leading to an initial identification of Turkey Vulture; however, bouts of soaring were interrupted by brief series of quick, shallow (choppy) wing flaps. It became apparent that the bird was drifting toward us and with continued observation our initial identification was doubted and a Black Vulture became more likely.
|Description of Vocalizations|
|Verbal Narrative & Description of Observation|
As distance between observers and bird closed visual details came into view. Eventually the bird flew within close range and photos (attached) were taken.
|Relative Size & Shape|
Larger than Common Raven.
Bird short necked with naked, all dark head.
|Feet & Bill|
Not clearly visible from observers' vantage point..
|Lower Back & Rump|
Not clearly visible from observers' vantage point.
Wings were broad but not as elongated as those of Turkey Vulture. Outer primary feathers formed obvious "fingers" which were more or less of uniform length giving wings a squared-off (blunted) appearance. Wings were black except for decidedly white outer primaries.
|Breast, Belly, Flanks, Under Tail Coverts|
Tail broad and short; no markings.
|IMPORTANT: What similar species were eliminated when making the identification and how was this bird different?|
Flight behavior, overall body shape, and white outer primaries eliminated Turkey Vulture.
|Other Notes & Comments|
Observation was made while conducting the Saxtons River CBC. Even though the observers were in NH , the bird when first spotted and for several minutes before flying crossing the Connecticut River (state line) was in VT. Sighting was initially submitted to eBird. Report is generated from that filing, analysis of photos taken, and memory. Photos include the two originals and respective blow ups.
|This report was written from notes taken:||Written from Memory|