HABITAT AND RANGE
They are found warmer parts of the Western Hemisphere. Can be found in east North Carolina, Washington D.C., and sub/tropical parts of Americas.
They are large birds with wingspans of 4-5 feet. They have black bodies but can be noted for white spots underneath each wing. They are slightly smaller than turkey vultures and have a noticeably bare black head. They have long, hooked beaks but relatively blunt talons.
Beaks are well suited to tearing meat. They eat almost any carcass even if it has begun to rot, but since they often eat in large flocks, they prefer larger dead animals. Their bare heads make it easy to stick them inside a carcass without worry of bacterial growth or soiling their feathers.
REPRODUCTION AND LIFESPAN
There is often a paired mating display. Usually they nest in early spring in tree cavities, rocky ledges or caves in remote areas far from the feeding grounds. In the wild these birds may live only up to 5 years, while in captivity they can live up to 30 years.
Although they mainly eat dead animals, they may kill small defenseless ones. When these birds get annoyed they may make a hissing snarling sound.