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This month, we’ve got an apparently all-black bird, with a tail so short that we can see that the feet extend to the tail tip. The wings look pretty broad, and the hand is quite fingered; in fact, there are six fingers, which rules out an awful lot of options. Taking a look at those long outer primaries, we can see that they have distinctly white shafts and are paler than the inner primaries. Finally, we can see the very tip of what seems to be a pale bill sticking out between primaries 5 and 6 (remember, the bird’s ten primaries are counted from the outside in). Immature California Condors are virtually all-black with short tails and white primary shafts, but their outer primaries are otherwise the same color as the inner primaries. Additionally, they have thick-tipped dark bills.
I took this picture of a Black Vulture in West Cape May, Cape May Co., NJ, in January 2011.
The following people (listed by submission date beginning with the earliest) submitted correct answers for the October Bird Photo Quiz—Black Vulture:
The following list shows the number of submissions for each species guessed.
The photo and answer for this quiz were supplied by Tony Leukering.