Yesterday I got a good look at the four Black Vultures that have been hanging around. They were sitting together on one of the compost piles at the Cornell facility on Stevenson Road. Two of the four had very black faces and feathers higher up on the back of the head, indicating that they are young birds hatched this year. The other two had gray, wrinkled faces of adults.
I saw both juveniles interact with an adult, pecking at each other's bill in what looked like an "affectionate" way. (We use the term "affiliative behavior" for things like grooming and other positive interactions.) They may have done some brief allopreening, but I couldn't tell for sure. Black Vultures are known to have a complex social system where they associate and cooperate with kin. Young Black Vultures are known to hang out with their parents up until the next breeding season. I suspect this group is a mated pair with two offspring. That would explain why we always see the four together. Also present was the leucistic Turkey Vulture that has been seen off and on for a number of years. I have photos at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41325840. Kevin Do you know about our other distance-learning opportunities? Visit Bird Academy<https://academy.allaboutbirds.org/courses/>, https://academy.allaboutbirds.org/courses/ to see our list of courses. -- Cayugabirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsWELCOME http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm ARCHIVES: 1) http://email@example.com/maillist.html 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds 3) http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html Please submit your observations to eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ --