This observation is a continuation of an earlier post documenting observations made at an active Black Vulture nest. The previous article can be found here: Black Vulture – Nest Update 6.

It was a good show put on by the vultures today.

The juvenile was all alone when we arrived, but the first adult showed up within just a few minutes. This adult came right into the nesting area and immediately began feeding the chick.

The juvenile Black Vulture was unattended today when we arrived. He was lounging in this odd position, and gave us the impression that he might be in distress. He was fine.
Black Vulture feathers dropped from the adults are scattered about the nest site.

While this was going on we were surprised to see the other adult land on the building across the courtyard. Soon this vulture came down to the nest and traded places with the first adult. A brief effort to feed the chick by the second adult ensued. It was largely unfruitful.

This is the hand off. The moment when the first adult vulture turns over the responsibility for the nest over to the second Black Vulture.
The Black Vulture chick at approximately 5 weeks of age.

As it turned out, the first adult did not leave the scene. Instead this vulture only stepped out into the sunlight and spread its wing in order to sunbath. The second adult soon joined the first in this activity.

After a few minutes of sunning their wings, both adult vultures moved into the shade near the building, but in a different location from the nest. There they seemed to attempt to interact with their reflections in the glass, before finally settling down to groom each other thoroughly. This behavior can be seen in the video at the bottom of the post.

It looks to be a cows tooth. How did it arrive here?

This observation is continued here: Black Vulture – Nest Update 8

Observation Details

DateApr 28, 2012
Time of DayAfternoon
TemperatureWarm (70-89°F/21-32°C)
Type of BehaviorCare of Young
ObserverChris Jackson

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