Coragyps Atratus – Black Vulture

Coragyps Atratus - Black Vulture in the US

The American black vulture, Coragyps atratus is a New World vulture whose range spans from the northeastern United States through Peru, Central Chile, and Uruguay. Its range is slightly less than that of its buddy, the turkey vulture, which breeds deep into Canada and south to Tierra del Fuego. It is the sole living member of the Coragyps genus in the family of Cathartidae. It prefers open regions with scattered woods or shrublands. The black vulture has a wingspan of 1.5 m (4.9 ft), which is considerable for a vulture. a narrow, hooked mouth, black plumage, a featherless grayish-black head, and neck.

Quick Overview: Coragyps Atratus – Black Vulture
Body size: Around 23-27 in (58-69 cm) and a weight of 2177 g (76.8 oz)
Main colors: Black, Gray, White
Range: Eastern United States
Migratory Bird: Yes
Best time of the year to see in the U.S.: All Year (January – December)
Conservation Status: Least Concern

Black vulture Description

The Black vulture has a wingspan of 137-152 cm and a length of 50-69 cm. Both sexes have dark black, wrinkled exposed skin on their grayish-black heads and necks. Adults are tan. Black Vultures have weak white feet and weak bills. The vulture’s feet extend past its tail. This huge new world vulture is distinguished from turkey vultures by a short, square tail and a prominent white patch on the undersurface of the wing near the base of the primary.

Coragyps Atratus - Black Vulture in the US
Coragyps Atratus – Black Vulture. Photo by: Dennis Jarvis


These birds have a length of 23-27 in (58-69 cm) and a weight of 2177 g (76.8 oz). Their wings could range from 54-60 in (137-152 cm).


Black Vultures forage on carrion at rubbish dumps, sewers, and slaughterhouses, as well as roadkill. Vultures are known to prey on infant herons and domestic ducks, as well as ripe or rotting fruit or vegetables and turtles. They are opportunistic predators who prefer to overeat when they discover adequate food.


The Black Vulture favors wide areas and avoids thick woods. Included in this category are lowland areas with highland ridges, farms, deserts, trash dumps, and urban places.


XXX Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Accipitriformes
  • Family: Cathartidae
  • Genus: Coragyps
  • Species: Coragyps atratus

Best time of the year to see

In the United States, the best time of year to see these birds is all year round, regardless of the season. This refers to any month of the year between January and December.

Distribution of the Black vulture in the USA

Black Vultures live in tropical and warm temperate zones from southern Canada to southern South America, including the United States. In the northern portions of their habitat, they migrate south in the fall and return in the spring.

The Black vulture can be found in the following states in the United States – Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Coragyps Atratus – Black Vulture

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