Behavior And Reproduction

Before flying in the morning, New World vultures usually find a sunny spot where they can spread their wings. The sunshine warms their bodies and helps to straighten their flight feathers. They wait until the winds pick up before taking off. They roost together at night and they hunt for food in flocks, but at breeding time they spread out and nest by themselves.

New World vultures usually mate or life. As part of their courtship display, a pair flies high over the nesting area with wingtips almost touching. This may tell neighboring pairs to stay away. Female vultures lay their eggs directly on the ground in the floor of a cave or in a tree hole. The condors and king vultures lay only one egg and other vultures usually lay two. The parents take turn sitting on the eggs and feeding the chicks. Young condors learn to fly at about six months, and the smaller vultures learn by the time they are three months.

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