The Cleanup Crew

Today’s post features what I call “the dirty, cleanup bird” … the Black Vulture. Vultures are very interesting birds. They are one of our best “cleanup” birds, constantly scavenging road kill. To look at these birds, you would think they come out of the prehistoric era … the hairless, wrinkled faces were built for scavenging roadkill corpses (they can clean out a carcass quite easily, without the “mess” of getting “stuff” caked into head feathers). And their personality is both interesting and amusing.

In many places, you will see signs posted to cover your car (in areas where these birds are prevalent). They seem to enjoy picking at and removing black rubber (window seals, wiper blades, etc.) from cars in popular parking lots.

I’ve had some interesting experiences with these birds at Myakka River State Park. When I visit Deep Hole, there are always a lot of Black Vultures there. When I lay my photo backpack down and move around to photograph the wildlife there, these birds frequently come in and try to grab and carry off my bag of equipment! Fortunately, there is always enough weight in the bag that they have not yet been successful!

Here are a few images of the Black Vultures that I captured at Deep Hole in February:

Black Vulture

Black Vulture

Black Vulture

Florida has an abundance of prehistoric-looking animals … the vultures, wood storks, alligators, etc. I’ll be posting more Florida wildlife encounters over the next few posts.


Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens (+ Canon 1.4x TC, last photo only)
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with Wemberly gimball head
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/4 and f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/1600 sec. to 1/160 sec.



Posted in Bird Photography, Nature Photography, Travel Photography
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