This is the fourth season a black vulture pair has used a nest site monitored by Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research. The first year, 2010, there was only one chick, and it was possible for Tri-State to successfully place a similarly aged but unrelated, orphaned black vulture chick in the nest. In both 2011 and 2012, the adults had two chicks of their own, all of which successfully fledged.
In 2011, the first egg was laid on 3/7/11 with the first chick hatching 39 days later on 4/15/11. Both chicks fledged by 6/30/11, about 2 1/2 months after hatching.
During the 2012 nesting season, two eggs were laid, 2/20/12 and 2/23/12. They both hatched about 39 days later, during a period from 3/31/1 and 4/2/12, with thirty-two hours elapsing from the first visible hole in an egg until the first chick was free of the shell. The second chick was out of the shell about eleven hours later. First flight (25′) was observed 6/14/12, about 2 1/2 months after hatching.
This year a vulture pair began scouting the nest site in January, 2013. Courtship and mating were observed and recorded, and the first egg laid around 7:00 PM on 3/3/13. A second egg was laid at 8:34 AM on 3/6/13. Hatching began 4/11/13, 39 days after the first egg was laid. One of the chicks did not survive the strenuous 30+ hour hatching process. The other chick appears to be healthy and growing.
Activity at the nest is being recorded 24/7 for research purposes. This appears to be the only American black vulture pair (Coragyps atratus) whose nesting behavior has been streamed live over the Internet, enabling observations of how adults care for their chicks. Going forward, our research objectives include tagging and tracking both the adults and chicks to increase our knowledge of black vulture behavior. Of particular interest is to determine whether the same adult pair use this nest site year after year and to observe interactions between the various generations of vultures associated with this nest. Suggestions for conducting this research and information regarding related research projects/publications would be welcome in the Comments on the Live Feed page of this website.