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 12.

The juvenile Black Vulture has abandoned his original nest site for a location more to his liking. This change in location is the young vultures first attempt at asserting his independence. Small steps like this one is how young animals begin to break their dependence on there parents.

Of course, this juvenile is not ready to be on his own just quite yet (though that day is rapidly approaching), and one of his parents was with him when we arrived.

One of the adult Black Vultures.
A close up of an adult Black Vulture.
The juvenile vulture emerging from the bushes to join its parent.
The juvenile Black Vulture.

Both birds seemed motivated by trying to get a little relief from the already brutal Texas summer heat. They had found a spot with lots of shade and bare, moist soil. This position was not well suited to taking pictures as the vegetation obscured the best views of the birds. But, on occasion, the pair would do me the favor of moving out of the landscaping and on to a nearby sidewalk. This was an excellent spot for photographs, and I snapped away.

The young bird is just as large as his parents now. The only hint that this bird is a juvenile are the remnants of white fuzz that he was born with. While we watched, the young vulture spent a good deal of time plucking this white fuzz from his body. It won’t last much longer.

The juvenile spent much of its time plucking the remnants of white fuzz from it plumage.
The juvenile Black Vulture after preening.
Notice the pieces of white fuzz stuck in the vulture’s beak.
A juvenile Black Vulture.
This juvenile vulture has an unusual looking Mohawk of white fuzz.

This observation is continued here: Black Vulture – Nest Update 14

Observations Details

DateJun 09, 2012
Time of DayMorning
TemperatureWarm (70-89°F/21-32°C)
Type of BehaviorCare of Young
ObserverChris Jackson

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