It's not difficult to distinguish a Vulture from an Eagle even though they look familiar when flying together.
Vultures and Eagles are both birds of prey. These -also called raptors- haunt any other animals to eat them. That's how they feed themselves. The word Raptor is derived from the Latin word "rapio" which means to "take by force".
The most important feature to tell them apart is to determine if the head is bald or feathery.
Even though they might be part of the same family, they do look and behave differently.
The Vultures tend to be black or dark brown with a red bald head and long neck. Eagles are more brownish. Some have a white head and tail; others are entirely brown. Although Vultures look more intimidating, they tend to be smaller than Eagles.
These two birds have another thing in common, and it is eyesight. They have excellent vision, which allows them to spot their prey easily. Vultures, in particular, also have a great sense of smell.
Eagles can be found over the sea and on land as well. Vultures can live anywhere but tend to prefer the woods.
When it comes to eating their prey, the Vulture has a great opportunity since their head is bald, unlike the eagle, who's full of feathers and struggles sticking their head to get food. But a good thing for the eagle is that their claws are pretty strong, helping them catch the prey. Vulture talons are not as strong.
Vultures are known for eating dead animals even though they have been dead for an extended time, while Eagles incline more to fresh meat.
An Eagle's lifespan is from twenty to thirty years, while the Vulture lives between ten to thirty years.
If you were to describe the sound of a Vulture, it is like a dog barking. They don't vocalize, only growl and hiss. This is due to the lack of a voice box. The sound of an eagle is more like a whistle.
Vultures like to eat insects, fruits like berries and grapes. The eagle also likes to eat insects, other birds, and fish.
If These Two Birds Were To Fight, Who Would Win?
As previously mentioned, Vultures tend to eat animals that another bird already hunted. If they had to fight for prey, it would be a long fight since none of them would most likely leave the target.
Vultures have a great sense of smell and eyesight, which helps them locate the prey, but the Eagles have more haunting skills and more robust claws. The eagle would potentially win a fight against a vulture.
Are Vultures And Buzzards The Same Thing?
Vultures and Buzzards tend to be confused, but it is safe to say they're not the same. Buzzards are most likely found in Europe, and it is considered a unique bird of prey. Just like the Vultures, they are known for eating the remains of dead animals.
Something that differentiates Buzzards from Vultures is that they have strong feet and claws. They're not bald-headed like the Vultures and tend to be smaller.
Another dissemblance is that Buzzards have a weak sense of smell and are faster than vultures.
Do These Birds Ever Attack Humans?
There's a myth that we've been taught about Vultures being dangerous. They do look intimidating, but they are not known for harming humans. If anything, they're helpful for us since they eliminate rotting, dead animals from our environment.
Eagles are not common to attack humans either. There has been some news about these birds attacking children, but some of them were later on disregarded because they were other types of birds such as Hoaxes. Many others have remained undisclosed. The credibility of those articles is pretty low since eagles are known for not being able to lift more than a few pounds, so they wouldn't be able to lift a human being.
Are Any Of These Animals Extinct?
Asian Vultures are now predominantly at risk of extinction. Many studies have shown that this is due to the drug Diclofenac. It is used as an inflammatory medicine for animals. If a Vulture eats one of those animals that have been drugged, they'll immediately absorb the components and die. It's important to mention that this drug has been banned for animal use in India specifically.
Eagles were extinct around a century ago in the United States. They were hunted, but most of them were poisoned. Studies say that the most predominant poison was DDT which was an insecticide. Thankfully, this was later on banned, and the animal became protected by the government. Since then, the population of eagles has recovered.
Facts About Vultures
- Their bald head helps them keep themselves healthy. Most birds have a feathery head and neck, which stores bacteria that can cause infections.
- On hot days, Vultures usually urinate themselves to cool off.
- By eating rotted meat, they prevent the diseases that come from rotting corpses.
- They're unable to determine when an animal is dying.
- A kettle is a word used to describe a group of Vultures flying.
- Vultures can fly at heights where oxygen levels are at their thinnest.
- They use vomiting as a technique to lighten up their body and escape any threatening situation.
- They're banned in Australia and Antarctica.
- Around the world, you can find 23 different species of Vultures.
- Their species are divided into two. New World and Old World. The New World is the Americas and The Caribbean species, while The Old World is the ones in Europe, Asia, and Africa.
- They have their holiday called "International Vulture Awareness Day". It is celebrated on the first Saturday of September.
Facts About Eagles
- There are around 60 species of Eagles. Most of them reside in Asia and Africa.
- Eagles tend to locate a high cliff to build their nests to be far away from predators but also close to any source of food.
- The symbol of an eagle has several meanings. For some, it represents freedom and courage. It is also the Symbol of The United States of America.
- The eye of an eagle is the same size as the eye of a human. However, their eyesight can be eight times better than ours.
- There's one type of eagle named "The Bald Eagle". You must know, they aren't bald. It's called that way because of the word "piebald" in English. It means "white-headed", which makes a lot of sense since these birds are white-feathered. Fun fact, when they're balding, they lose feathers equally on the side of their head.
- They're critical thinkers.
- Eaglet is the word to describe a baby eagle.
- The nurturing process can take around 35 days, and it happens each spring. Female eagles lay from one to three eggs.
- Convocation is the word used to describe a group of Eagles flying.
- Eagles are monogamous. They're loyal and will only change partners if the other passes away.
- The Golden Eagle is the most common type of eagle.
- Eagles have the capability of seeing from different angles. This is because they can turn their heads at a 210-degree angle.
- They have 14 vertebrae necks. If you compare that to a human, that's double the vertebras since we have only 7.
- They don't tend to attack humans.
- Eagles visit their nest yearly. They don't sleep in the nest.
- They can't swim.
- Just like other birds, female eagles tend to be bigger than male eagles.
Eagles and Vultures are both considered raptors. Raptors usually have hook-tipped beaks and sharp curved claws called talons (in non-predatory vultures, the talons are present but atrophied).
Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority. He's one part content manager, one part writing ninja organizer, and two parts leader of top content creators. You don't even want to know what he calls pancakes.