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Here we have a glimpse of turkey vultures and black vultures from the top of the Cape May Lighthouse, Cape May, NJ. This double page spread from The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors is actually a mystery quiz page where you can pick out the different vultures and test your identification skills up close and far away. Think you can do it? Here’s some tips from the authors:
On migration, Turkey and Black Vultures are often seen together in many parts of the East and in some portions of the Southwest. Black Vultures are smaller in size with shorter wings and especially shorter tails. They also have whitish outer primaries that Turkey Vultures lack. However, ideal views are not always the norm when watching birds on migration, and other clues are needed for identification. Turkey Vulture often displays an exaggerated “wobbly” flight and holds its wings in a steeper dihedral than Black Vulture, but the most significant flight style difference is the hurried, snappy wingbeats of Black Vulture compared with the lazy, floppy wingbeats of Turkey Vulture.