A King Vulture generally locates other vultures feeding on an animal carcass. Once the King Vulture lands, the other birds make way for it. With a wingspan of 4 to 5 feet, and weighing 6-10 lbs (quite heavy for a bird), the King Vulture is truly a king among scavengers.
Vultures eat carrion, or dead, decaying flesh. This may seem pretty gross, but vultures play an important role in the ecosystems they live in. Vultures basically take care of dead and decomposing animal remains. By eating animals that are already dead, vultures help to prevent the spread of disease to other animals.
While we are on the trail, we'll often see groups of other species of vultures circling overhead. However, the King Vulture typically prefers a solitary existence. They glide effortlessly with their eyes and noses pointed toward the ground in search of their next meal.
For further exploration, check out the following web sites.
Wilderness Classroom's Rainforest Library: King Vulture
National Geographic's Animal Facts and Photos
The Belize Zoo's Animal Fact Page: King Vulture
The Honolulu Zoo: King Vulture
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