Brief Update: Black Vultures Nesting at the B. W. Wells S.R.A.

Each winter for the past five years, a pair of Black Vultures have nested in a hollow tree at the B. W. Wells S.R.A., at Falls Lake, North Carolina.  It is presumably the same pair each time, as Black Vultures are known to return to the same nest site year after year.  This year, they were still on the nest on March 29th, the latest date they have been seen there.

Hollow Tree Black Vulture Nesting Site

Hollow Tree Black Vulture Nesting Site

Even though it is late for this pair, March  29th remains well within the normal nesting period for Black Vultures (Coragyps atratus).  Adults spend more than 25% of their lives nesting.  Eggs are incubated (by both adults) for a month or more, and the chicks are cared for in the nest for an additional two months.  Families tend to  associate together throughout the rest of their lives.

When a nesting bird hears a disturbance, or footsteps approaching the tree, it flies up to the hole and looks out to keep watch, as pictured below.  If closely approached, the bird flies into the lower branches of a neighboring tree until the visitor leaves.  Disturbances are rare since this area is not on an indicated hiking trail.

Black Vulture at the Opening of the Nest Cavity

Black Vulture at the Opening of the Nest Cavity

See the original story at: https://bwwellsassociation.wordpress.com/2014/12/22/black-vultures-are-thriving-in-north-carolina/

Herb Amyx

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