One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A very large Old World vulture with blackish-brown plumage, now rare in Europe.
Aygypius monachus, family AccipitridaeAlso called cinereous vulture
- ‘Snow lay thin on the dunes, while a black vulture cruised above my head.’
- ‘We deal with everything from the smallest white-eye to a black vulture, from hedgehogs to jackals.’
- ‘The black stork, black vulture, and endangered Spanish imperial eagle are among the 42 species of birds that depend on the cork woodlands.’
2A New World vulture with black plumage and a bare black head.
Coragyps atratus, family Cathartidae
- ‘The three vulture species in North America, the turkey vulture, black vulture, and California condor, are in the family cathartidae.’
- ‘Huge, black vultures soar over canyon, desert and forest, circling nimbly on updrafts.’
- ‘Unlike turkey vultures, which eat carcasses and rarely attack livestock, black vultures will go after piglets, sheep and cows as well as dead animals.’
- ‘I don't see any black vultures but I do see the better soaring turkey vultures and a number of hawks.’
- ‘We landed on a red-clay airstrip, where at least one symptom of human impact was manifest: dozens of black vultures circling over the town dump.’
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