(The Gist of Science Reporter) Opportunistic Feeder   [APRIL-2018]


(The Gist of Science Reporter) Opportunistic Feeder

  [APRIL-2018]


Opportunistic Feeder

The Egyptian vulture is one of the best scavenger birds, not only devouring carcasses of dead animals, but also feeding on most types of offal or garbage. It has an opportunistic and diverse diet. Since it has a broad diet range, it is not as much susceptible to the poisoned carcass as other old world vulture species. These species can be found anywhere where food is available for them. It often wanders about the streets of villages, looking through the heaps of refuse. Its teeth and claws are much too feeble to enable it to cope with the tearing up of a large carcass, and so never associate with the large vultures and mammals. The Egyptian vulture not only eats dead animals, but also preys upon rats, mice, lizards, tortoises, insects and other pests that swarm in hot countries. It is often observed that as farmers plough up the ground worms, grubs, and similar creatures that are disturbed move on to the surface becoming prey to the Egyptian vultures. Egyptian vultures have also been observed around slaughterhouses and bone mill factories where they feed upon crushed bones and very often seen pecking on cow dung and ' droppings of goats and sheep.

Egyptian vultures have certain foraging advantages. The face is devoid of hair so the bare skin prevents blood and food from sticking to it. Using its long beak it can easily tear off small pieces of meat left by larger scavengers. It also feeds upon a variety of food available. This increases its survival rate as compare to other vulture’s species that look for large and fresh carcass, for example, Red headed vultures. Another advantage is that in addition to the food available for them they also look and hunt for food and sometimes prey upon rats, mice, lizards, tortoises, fish, insects and other pests.

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