Scavenger Birds (Birds That Eat Dead Animals)

Scavenger birds are birds that feed on dead animal carcasses. These birds play an important role in the ecosystem by cleaning up dead animals and helping to prevent the spread of disease. Some examples of scavenger birds include vultures, crows, and ravens.

However, while some animals are true scavengers and feed only on animal carcasses, others are both scavengers and predators.

There are a large number of different classes of scavengers, but today we are going to talk about the class of birds called scavenge-scavenger birds.

Following is a list of scavenger birds.

Examples Of Scavenger Birds

Vultures

A vulture is a scavenger bird, and one of them depends only on animals that have died of natural causes or carrion; they eat everything that is not alive.

There are two vulture families; Old World Vultures (Accipitridae) and New World Vultures (Cathartidae). Scavenger birds include both old and new world vultures.

Some have strong beaks that can tear through tough flesh and sometimes bone. But where some power and strong qualities are lacking, nature has made up for it.

Old World vultures and all New World vultures have bare heads to prevent germ-infested blood from sticking to their feathers as they dig deep into their food.

For this compensation, they can avoid eating any dead organisms as far as the living ones are excluded.

Read Also: What Eats Vultures? [List of Vulture Predators]

Carrion Crow

As the name suggests, carrion crows are scavenger birds, but unlike vultures, they live closer to humans than in the wild. Carrion crows can eat any biomass that is discarded by humans.

However, they also eat live animals, such as insects. These birds can go so far as to catch large prey or intimidate other carnivores into giving up their kills by massing against them.

And because of their nature to bully and steal from the mouths of native predators, ravens pose a threat in the wild and are preyed upon by large birds of prey or terrestrial carnivores.

Their most common predators include eagles, peregrine falcons, northern goshawks, and other powerful raptors.

Western Jackdaws

Scavenger Birds (Birds That Eat Dead Animals)

The western jackdaw is a scavenger bird related to crows and ravens. However, these small birds do not rely entirely on dead or decaying biomass.

They are not so friendly with humans in rural areas, but in big cities, they are very friendly and civilized. Invertebrates are their main source of food, but they are occasionally encountered and sometimes killed on the road.

As close to civilized as they look, western jackdaws are small scavenger bird thieves. They cannot eat other birds alive, but they can still run away with and eat the eggs of other birds. But we still give them credit for being the smartest bird family.

Living in urban areas doesn’t keep the western jackdaw off the menu. Birds of prey are in the city, and even domestic cats prey on them. They mainly prey on their eggs, but sometimes hunters go for adult jackdaws as well.

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Bald Eagles

Scavenger Birds (Birds That Eat Dead Animals)

Bald eagles are primarily hunters but scavengers as well. And compared to other scavenger birds, they are quite dignified. Bald eagles are faster and more mobile than many other birds of the sky.

Their large and strong talons are used to grip the ground and catch prey. Although they are fast and somewhat strong, bald eagles are not strong enough to chase down prey to kill. Instead, they rely on the element of surprise to get food.

Bald eagles are primarily fish eaters, but as opportunistic feeders, they also eat frogs, turtles, small mammals and rodents.

However, they often scavenge for food from other small carnivorous birds. According to Wikipedia, 24% of their total diet comes from scavenging.

Read Also: Weakest Animals in the World

Eurasian Magpies

Scavenger Birds (Birds That Eat Dead Animals)

Eurasian magpies may be considered scavenger birds, but like bald eagles, they rely not only on dead or decaying biomass for food. They are quite clever birds – and they use their intelligence to steal food from other animals.

Although small in size, Eurasian magpies may conspire to hunt animals as large as life rabbits for dinner, they are actually birds of prey.

They spend most of their time close to the ground, looking for the next prey to steal. Magpies have even been known to steal food and hide it underground for later consumption.

However, they are herbivores so they associate food with larger animals such as rabbits and plants. It is only on rare occasions of famine that they stoop down to roadkill and carrion.

Crested Caracaras

The ruthless caracara robbers of the wild, crested variety have arrived. So far, we’ve talked about birds that hunt and eat their prey, settling only for dead or dead animal carcasses to eat when there’s a shortage.

But crested caracaras are an exception. Like vultures, these are true birds. But in a place where vultures wait to be fooled and eaten by the real owners of the kill, crested caracaras refer to stealing the kill from the owner’s hand.

They steal kills from animals on the ground and steal in mid-air and in flight. Eggs of other raptors like them are no exception.

The closest prey that crested caracaras have to hunt are insects or invertebrates such as snowy egrets. Also, all these routes are daring robberies and animal carcasses.

Read Also: Most Greedy Animals in the World

American Crows

Being hunters and scavengers, American crows are not picky eaters. In fact, they will eat anything. However, like many other species on our list, crows are omnivores, and eat a partially plant-based diet.

Still, the bulk of their diet comes from a mixture of live prey and decaying carcasses. This comprises a range of animal roadkill, as well as insects, eggs, reptiles, amphibians, and even other birds and human meals.

Crows are known for their sophisticated intelligence, which they use to hunt, crowd other animals and steal food in addition to solving various problems.

Black Kites

Like many other birds of prey, black kites are scavenger birds, but they also hunt animals for food. These birds are not picky eaters, and some of their most common prey include fish, mollusks, rodents, small birds, snakes, and insects.

Australians actually believe that black kites intentionally spread a burning bush through the rest of the forest to lure potential prey and in the process stun them before killing them.

Black moths are around when there is a fire, but fire moths in particular are an unproven fact. However, if this statement is true, we should pay tribute to these clever birds.

Read Also: Amazing Animals That Eat a Lot of Food

Marabou Storks

Scavenger Birds (Birds That Eat Dead Animals)

For birds that eat feces, decaying animal matter, and carrion, marabou storks are hygienic scavengers. Marabou storks live up to their name as carrion-eating birds.

They have all the physical traits to help them choose food. Like vultures, the marabou stork has a bald head that feeds without blood.

However, they are sometimes accompanied by vultures because they have strong beaks to tear at meat, either stealing pieces that have fallen to the ground or pulling them straight out of their mouths.

Although adult marabou storks feed on scavengers, carrion and carcasses. But when it comes to food for their young, they hunt live animals.

When hunting these live prey, they usually go for fish, frogs, insects and even other birds or crocs’ eggs.

Ravens

Like their cousins the ravens, ravens are omnivorous hunters and scavengers. This means they will eat almost anything, from insects and small rodents to lizards, human garbage and carrion.

However, depending on their habitat, some crows generally obtain their food by scavenging, while others hunt for half of their diet.

Sometimes ravens use cooperation to their advantage to hunt larger prey, prey that a single bird cannot take down.

In addition, crows are also known as wolf birds because of their special association with wolves.

That is, the two species formed a mutually beneficial partnership, with the birds acting as extra eyes for the wolves, alerting the canids to potential prey. Zoologists also believe that wolves have learned to respond to crow calls that indicate a target.

Read Also: Most Energetic Animals in the World

Red-Tailed Hawks

Scavenger Birds (Birds That Eat Dead Animals)

These tough carnivorous birds are known for their hunting skills. However, this naturally gifted hunter is also an opportunistic scavenger and will happily scavenge a piece of dead flesh whenever possible.

In hunting mode, red-tailed hawks typically attack small to medium-sized mammals, reptiles, and other birds.

Depending on the environment in which they hunt, red-tailed hawks generally use one of two hunting methods. Hover or sit.

These birds of prey are some of the best hunters in the wild, and their main weapons include keen eyesight, fast flight speed, sharp beaks and the gripping power of talons.

California Condors

The final members of our list of scavenger birds are the California condors. Found in mountains, valleys and gorges, these birds are the largest birds in North America.

California condors are true carnivores, meaning they feed strictly on dead animals, and they never hunt or attack any living things.

But they will sometimes travel more than 160 miles in a day in search of carrion. These large birds prefer the carcasses of large animals such as deer and cattle. However, they will also feed on dead aquatic mammals along the coastline.

However, when food is scarce, condors will also feed on the carcasses of small rodents and reptiles.

Final words on scavenger birds

In the jungle, the supreme law is the survival of the fittest, in another the seasonal storm called the jungle. But in place of strength and size, some animals have developed a cheat code – theft. You may call them lazy but nature has given them the best backstory to cover up.

Scavenger birds are very important to the environment, as they maintain an ecosystem by eating carrion and preventing the spread of disease. These birds are natural hygiene services that we must protect in order to protect our habitats for them.

Thank you for reading.

Hopefully, you learned something new today. If you liked this post, we are happy to recommend you similar reading: Cutest Animals in The World

Scavenger Birds (Birds That Eat Dead Animals)
Scavenger Birds (Birds That Eat Dead Animals)

Title: Scavenger Birds (Birds That Eat Dead Animals)

Description: Scavenger birds are birds that feed on dead animal carcasses. These birds play an important role in the ecosystem by cleaning up dead animals and helping to prevent the spread of disease. Some examples of scavenger birds include vultures, crows, and ravens.

Start date: December 13, 2022

Author: Muhammad Ali

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Summary

In the jungle, the supreme law is the survival of the fittest, in another the seasonal storm called the jungle. But in place of strength and size, some animals have developed a cheat code – theft. You may call them lazy but nature has given them the best backstory to cover up.
Scavenger birds are very important to the environment, as they maintain an ecosystem by eating carrion and preventing the spread of disease. These birds are natural hygiene services that we must protect in order to protect our habitats for them.

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