Halloween Creatures: the Vulture

Black Vulture roost, Georgia USA

As photographers that post for stock sales, we want to have photos in our portfolio that are current with the times and relevant to upcoming events. But if you’re a wildlife and pet photographer like me, how do you ensure you have photos in line with the upcoming holidays such as Halloween? Easy! Think of those scary, macabre or spooky animals related to All Hallows Eve.

One such creature is the vulture. Why are they thought of as creepy critters fitting for the witching hour? Perhaps it is their hideous bill of fare. There aren't many things more gruesome than a gathering of vultures hunched over rotting carrion on the roadside. In fact, a gathering of vultures feeing on a corpse is called a wake… of course referring to the pre-funeral vigil held beside the body of someone who has died.

If that isn’t enough, perhaps it is their fitting Halloween attire. Black Vultures (Coragyps atratus, shown above) are, of course, all dressed in black. Turkey Vultures are dressed in similar mourning garb, but sport blood-red heads. A suitable spooky ensemble.

If all of that wasn’t enough to scare you, their dreadful voice will certainly tip the scale. When vocalizing, the vulture is no Song Sparrow. His voice is a deep, hissing, grating croak which can stop you dead in your tracks and make your skin crawl.

So, as you see, the wildlife photographer doesn’t need to make a special session to shoot pumpkins, ghosts and ghouls. Just get those shots of those Creepy Critters!

Photo credits: William Wise.

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November 14, 2018


Nice shot!

October 10, 2018


Very nice shot!

October 09, 2018


Very thoughtful and insightful article William. Really enjoyed it!

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