Why is it that the Vulture gets such a bad rap? Really nice coloration: brown to black feathers with a red head. Well…a really ugly head. But, they do an enormous part in keeping our environment clean. And, they go to great lengths keeping themselves clean. They are constantly preening themselves, and often bathing in water. It is vital that they keep themselves clean after eating to prevent serious infections.
They are often seen spreading their wings, especially in the early morning. They lower their body temperature significantly at night and spreading the wings to the sun helps get their body temperature back up for the days activity. It also helps dry the feathers and exposes more of them to the UV radiation of the sun, helping to kill off unwanted bacteria.
Pardon the W.C. Fields and the Jungle Book references below–just couldn’t help myself.