Top 25 Birds that Scavenge

Scavenging birds play a vital role in our ecosystems, they clean up carcasses before they have time to rot. Without scavengers, rotting carcasses would become hubs for harmful pathogens. Vultures specialise in eating carrion and are highly efficient at cleaning up a carcass. But many other birds, like crows and eagles, will also scavenge if they get the opportunity. Scavengers, in particular the vultures, are facing immense challenges due to poisoning, habitat transformation and persecution. As a result 16 out of the 22 vulture species in the world are listed as ‘at risk’ on the IUCN RedList.

Here we present the Top 25 Birds that Scavenge. Thank you to everyone who contributed photographs to this week’s theme. Many of these birds are threatened with imminent extinction and your photographs bring awareness to these majestic birds. If you would like to take part in our weekly Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week, visit our Facebook page. Here you will find the week’s theme posted every Sunday, as well as instructions on how to take part. 

African Fish Eagles mainly hunt for fish but they will scavenge occasionally. In Uganda African Fish Eagles have been seen scavenging at leopard and lion kills (Preety Patel)A pair of Egyptian Vultures and a crow clean up a carcass in Taiwara, India (Vani Khanna)The face of the Hooded Vulture is usually white but when they become agitated it flushes red (Ramesh Aithal)Crested Caracaras have been known to chase vultures in flight until the vulture regurgitates their food, the Caracara then catches the meat! (Melissa Penta)An adult Bald Eagle about to steal a fish from a juvenile. These eagles are excellent hunters but will scavenge on carrion, especially during winter (Kelly Hunt)The Turkey Vulture has a very good sense of smell and will use this to locate carrion (Kishore Liju)Tawny Eagles have a broad diet which includes carrion (Sandipan Ghosh)A Steppe Eagle and Egyptian Vulture feed on a carcass in Bikaner, India (Sandipan Ghosh)Eastern Imperial Eagles are more reliant on carrion during winter, than summer (Suranjan Mukherjee)A Black Kite pursues an Egyptian Vulture with the intention of stealing its meal! (Gur Simrat Singh)A Griffon Vulture photographed in snowy Bulgaria by Marios MantzourogiannisHimalayan Vultures will usually feed at carcasses in small groups of around 5 (Gurpartap Singh)the body parts of Ruppell’s Vultures are regularly traded in central and west African markets (Marios Mantzourogiannis)Overall, the population of Griffon Vultures seems to be increasing, an encouraging trend given that the majority of the world’s vulture populations are declining (Antonis Tsaknakis)A Himalayan Vulture mid meal in Rohtang Pass, India (Prakash Chimad)A magnificent portrait of Africa’s largest vulture, the Lappet-faced Vulture (Marios Mantzourogiannis)There is a distinct pecking order at carcasses, the larger Lappet-faced Vulture tends to dominate other scavenging birds (Wasif Yaqeen)Marabou Storks eat mainly carrion, their bills are not well designed for tearing open carcasses so they wait for the predator or other scavengers, like these Spotted Hyenas to open the carcass (Bhargavi Upadhya)Lesser Yellow-headed Vultures are found in central and south America (Adriana Dinu)A Lappet-faced Vulture comes in to land in the Maasai Mara, Kenya (Subramanniyan Mani)A stunning shot of a Steppe Eagle in flight (Gur Simrat Singh)this Ruppell’s Vulture will wait for the hyenas to finish feeding before approaching the carcass (Bhargavi Upadhya)A Marabou Stork feeds on carrion on the plains of the Maasai Mara, Kenya (Kishore Reddy)A Marabou Stork waits for the White-backed Vultures to tear open a cattle carcass on the Serengeti (Teri Franzen)A pair of White-backed Vultures at a wildebeest carcass in Kenya (Suranjan Mukherjee)

Our mission is to build a global community around the freedom and beauty of birds in the wild as ambassadors for the natural ecosystems that they depend upon. They are the music, decoration, and character of every terrestrial habitat on the planet and have been around since the dinosaurs. They are the witnesses and ambassadors of the awesome power of nature. The wide availability of good, cheap optics has opened their world to us for the last few decades. Amazing, affordable DSLR cameras with long lenses are delivering brilliant digital bird imagery to online communities.

We are in a day-and-age during which more bird species are threatened with extinction than ever before. The Wild Birds! Revolution aims to publish the “Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week” to 1 million people every week by the end of the year. That is a revolution that will change the world! Join thousands of other weekend naturalists, photographers, birders, experts, hikers, nature-lovers, guides, scientists, conservationists and artists that share the thousands of wild bird photographs submitted to the Wild Bird Trust website and Facebook page. Thousands of wild bird enthusiasts are going out every day to photograph our planet’s beautiful birdlife. Pick up your camera, fill your bird feeder, open your heart, and join the Wild Birds! Revolution!!

Edited by Christie Craig, Campaign Manager

Top 25 Birds with Red Plumage

Top 25 Wild Raptors

Wild Bird Trust presents the Top 25 Wild Raptors. Raptors are some of the most awe-inspiring birds. They are strong and agile with excellent eyesight, making them highly adept hunters. This week we feature raptors from all over the globe, from the tiny Falconet of south-east Asia to the mighty Martial Eagle of Africa. The response to this week’s theme was amazing, we were flooded with photographs of magnificent raptors. Thank you to everyone for sharing their photographs and allowing us to appreciate these amazing birds! We will announce next week’s theme this coming Sunday so keep an eye out on the Facebook page.

The American Kestrel is a rather small raptor, standing at 20-30 centimetres tall. Given their size the majority of their prey is made up of insects (Leslie Reagan)Black Kites have become accustomed to living around humans, in some cities in Africa and Asia they can be commonly seen foraging in urban and suburban areas (Carlo Galliani)The Collared Falconet is one of the smallest of the falcon family, standing at just 14-18 centimetres. They are native to south-east Asia, this one was photographed in Bhutan (Sujoy Sarkar)As their name suggests the Changeable Hawk-eagle is highly varied in its plumage. This is a normal morph with a crest but they also occur without a crest and in a dark morph (Atanu Chakraborty)A Lesser Kestrel photographed at Lake Karla (Antonis Tsaknakis)A crestless morph of the Changeable Hawk-eagle perched in a tree (Sukrit Biswas)Adult Bateleurs have bright red bills and legs, this is however a juvenile. Bateleurs are widespread across much of sub-saharan Africa (Sharon Templin)Black-winged Kites eat primarily rodents which they sometimes consume in flight (Subham Chowdhury)Martial Eagles stand at almost a metre high and can take prey up to the size of small antelope (Sharon Templin)The Crested Serpent Eagle hunts from an exposed perch, they take mainly reptiles (Anirban Roychowdhury)The Long-crested Eagle makes use of open forest, they rely on trees to build their nests. This eagle was photographed in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania (Edwin Godinho)This Northern Saw-whet Owl is found only in the woodlands of North America (Tim Nicol)The Red-tailed Hawk builds its nest on a variety of structures like trees, cliffs, cacti and buildings (Adi Ringer)A juvenile Rufous-bellied Eagle photographed in Uttarakhand, India (Vishal Monakar)At first glance you would not say that The Secretarybird is a raptor but Regardless they are adept hunters, stalking through the grass to catch snakes, insects and small mammals (Edwin Godinho)The Greater Spotted Eagle breeds in the forests of central Asia. Due to deforestation in these areas, these eagles are now vulnerable to extinction (Dr S Alagu Ganesh)Spotted Owlets nest opportunistically in cavities, in trees or sometimes in cavities previously used by other birds like mynas and parakeets (Kuntal Das)This magnificent Steppe Eagle is considered endangered due to habitat destruction and persecution (Tauseef Zafer)A White-bellied sea-eagle soars above the Zuari River, India (Bhargavi Gokarna)A close up of a Griffon Vulture in Rajasthan, India (Amit Kumar Srivastava)When courting, Laggar Falcons engage in spectacular display flights (Amit Kumar Srivastava)An Osprey with prey in California. Ospreys are widespread, they are found on every continent! (Adi Ringer)For a vulture, the Himalayan Griffon has a fairly restricted range, occurring in and around the Himalayan mountain range (Sandipan Ghosh)In winter Short-eared Owls can frequently be found roosting in groups of up to 20 (Vipul Trivedi)A White-tailed eagle in the snow in Hokkaido, Japan (Mohit Kumar Ghatak)

Our mission is to build a global community around the freedom and beauty of birds in the wild as ambassadors for the natural ecosystems that they depend upon. They are the music, decoration, and character of every terrestrial habitat on the planet and have been around since the dinosaurs. They are the witnesses and ambassadors of the awesome power of nature. The wide availability of good, cheap optics has opened their world to us for the last few decades. Amazing, affordable DSLR cameras with long lenses are delivering brilliant digital bird imagery to online communities.

We are in a day-and-age during which more bird species are threatened with extinction than ever before. The Wild Birds! Revolution aims to publish the “Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week” to 1 million people every week by the end of the year. That is a revolution that will change the world! Join thousands of other weekend naturalists, photographers, birders, experts, hikers, nature-lovers, guides, scientists, conservationists and artists that share the thousands of wild bird photographs submitted to the Wild Bird Trust website and Facebook page. Thousands of wild bird enthusiasts are going out every day to photograph our planet’s beautiful birdlife. Pick up your camera, fill your bird feeder, open your heart, and join the Wild Birds! Revolution!!

Edited by Christie Craig, Campaign Manager

Top 25 Migratory Wild Birds

Originally posted 2018-03-16 14:58:34.

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