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Are Vultures Scavengers?



Vultures ARE scavengers.

More Info: Vultures are large birds that live all across the United States. These birds are scavengers that help keep our environment clean by removing animal remains. Occasionally, vultures will forage areas and feed on live prey.


Most people have spotted vultures feeding on roadsides and in ditches. These birds also scour open fields and landfills for dead animals to eat. Vultures can take over a dead animal within seconds, especially when they are traveling in large flocks.


Vultures forage for food in heavy vegetation and in streams. Searching for food takes up most of the day for these carnivorous birds. Vultures have a keen sense of smell that alerts them to the location of dead animals. Certain species of vultures will attack and feed on live animals such as pigs and sheep but most prefer to scavenge around for dead animal carcasses.


While vultures are scavengers, they perform an important service. Removing dead animals can lessen disease and keep our environment clean. Vultures have a natural immunity to diseases and bacteria such as salmonella and botulism, which keeps them from getting sick. It is important to avoid poisoning, trapping or shooting vultures so they can continue cleaning up the world we live in.



Venable, Norma Jean. “Birds of Prey.” West Virginia University Extension Service. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2012.

“Birdlife Data Zone.” BirdLife International – conserving the world’s birds. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2012.

“Global Raptor Information Network.” Global Raptor Information Network. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2012.

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