• Black Vulture

    Common NameBlack Vulture
    Scientific NameCoragyps atratus
    Type of ReportOut-of-Season
    Date of Observation12/21/2017
    Number Observed1
    Reporting Observer's NameSara Griesemer
    Mailing Address25 Country Lane
    Sunderland, MA 01375
    United States
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    EmailEmail hidden; Javascript is required.
    Date Completed12/29/2017
    Latitude of Observation0
    Longitude of Observation0
    Place Name91 South
    Time of Day10:11 AM
    Length of Time Observed30 seconds
    Maximum Estimated Distance from Bird (in feet)50
    Minimum Estimated Distance from Bird (in feet)50
    Optical Equipment Used for Observation


    Observer’s Previous Acquaintance With This or Similar Species

    First learned vulture differentiation in Florida where both are present.

    I certify that that attachments included with this report were captured during this observation event​​.
    Description of Habitat

    Mixed woods and farm fields along side of highway

    Behaviors Observed

    Lifting off and beginning to circle over highway

    Description of Vocalizations


    Verbal Narrative & Description of Observation

    Even though I was driving I had a good look at it because it was just lifting off and circling near me. I immediately saw big, black soaring bird with light "hands". Then I noted all black underside no patches of white, dark head without color, and the light hands were very obvious. Because it was big and black I knew it was either eagle or vulture. I ruled out eagle by the pure black. Then I ruled out Turkey Vulture because the tail was shorter and the light hands stood out. There was no two toned wings of the TV.

    Relative Size & Shape

    Very large, dark, broad wings, short wide tail



    Feet & Bill

    Did not see

    Upper Back

    Did not see upper side

    Lower Back & Rump

    Did not see upper side


    Large, black, with light "hands"

    Breast, Belly, Flanks, Under Tail Coverts



    Black, short, widespread

    IMPORTANT: What similar species were eliminated when making the identification and how was this bird different?

    Eagle: Head and tail black. There was no white markings underneath at all that would indicate either immature eagle.
    Turkey Vulture: No head color. Light wing hands instead of two tone wings.

    Other Notes & Comments


    This report was written from notes taken:Immediately After

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