One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A large, aggressive American vulture with black plumage and a short square tail.
Coragyps atratus, family CathartidaeAlso called carrion crow
- ‘Unlike turkey vultures, which eat carcasses and rarely attack livestock, black vultures will go after piglets, sheep and cows as well as dead animals.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘I don't see any black vultures but I do see the better soaring turkey vultures and a number of hawks.’
- ‘Huge, black vultures soar over canyon, desert and forest, circling nimbly on updrafts.’
- ‘The three vulture species in North America, the turkey vulture, black vulture, and California condor, are in the family cathartidae.’
2A very large Old World vulture with blackish-brown plumage, now rare in Europe.
Aygypius monachus, family AccipitridaeAlso called cinereous vulture
- ‘The black stork, black vulture, and endangered Spanish imperial eagle are among the 42 species of birds that depend on the cork woodlands.’
- ‘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.’
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