Have you ever wondered why a vulture's head is bald or why they prefer road-kill to a fresh meal? For a vulture, bald is beautiful, especially when it allows them to be covered in blood and guts. Underappreciated and often vilified, vultures are fascinating birds that play an important role as janitors of the environment.
Vulture populations around the world are shrinking and some species are close to extinction. Visit the aviaries in the Zoo's Africa Exhibit to learn more about these bald birds, how biologists study them and why they need your help.
- Wingspan demonstration at the African Aviary and Raptor Roost to show visitors that not only do vultures have strong and powerful wings to soar and search for carrion, but the California condor has the longest wingspan in the world.
- Activity for parents and children that will simulate one of the vulture's behavioral adaptations. This will hopefully leave a lasting memory with the families, and something they will remember next time they encounter a vulture.
- A sniffing station where visitors can compare their sniffing skills to that of a vulture, which can smell dinner from about a mile to two miles away.
- Pellet Dissection. Although not many vultures regurgitate these pellets in such detail as a barn owl would (eats its prey whole), it is a neat activity and the kids love it.
- Craft station. Paper tube vultures and coloring pages.
- Beauty Contest. Visitors will get to vote on the most attractive, beautiful, interesting, vulture we have at the ABQ BioPark Zoo. In the process of voting, visitors will also learn facts and interesting structural adaptations of vultures.