Vulture vs Eagle (What Does a Vulture Look Like)

vulture vs eagle

Eagles are known as the king of birds, because of their superiority, sturdy structure, and profound eyesight. Vultures, on the other hand, are medium to large-sized birds. A fight between these two birds will excite everyone, and no one will want to miss it. First, we will start by knowing some facts about vultures and eagles.

What Does a Vulture Look Like?

Vultures are medium to large-sized birds of prey that feed on dead animals. There are 23 species of vultures; some have perfect eyesight, while others have a very keen sense of smell. They have a substantial body, a huddle-over posture, and their feathers are often shaggy and loose compared to other birds. Vultures generally appear in a dull brown or black color over their body. However, some species have pale underparts, heads, or throats that are bright red or blue.

One common feature that many of the vultures possess is their bald head and throat. This is thought to be helpful for them as they feed inside dead animal’s bodies and may also help them to control their body temperature. Vultures have a hooked and robust beak that enables them to tear and open carcasses. They also have broad wings as compared to other bird species. 

Where Does Vulture Live?

All the vulture species require a habitat that allows them to see small carrion while they are soaring in the sky. Their habitat generally includes plains, savannahs. However, some of the vultures prefer to live in an open mountainous area. In contrast, some others can be seen in sub-urban regions. Vultures are found on almost every continent except for Antarctica and Australia. 

Also read about types of vulture.

How Big is a Vulture?

The size of the vulture varies with its species. For example, the black vulture measures from 56 to 74 cm and weigh between 1.6 to 2.7 kg. Simultaneously, the turkey vultures measures 62 to 81 cm in length and weigh from 0.8 to 2.4 kg. And the size of the griffon vulture is 93 to 120 cm, considering from 6.5 to 11 kg. 

However, if we compare vulture vs. eagle size, the vultures can be larger than an eagle. Varies with different species, the average size of an eagle is 15.7 to 42 inches, and the average weight is 1.1 to 15 pounds. However, one of the smallest species is the little eagle, which is around 17.7 to 21.7 inches. Whereas, the Stellers’ sea eagle is about 36 to 42 inches in size. 

Vulture Diet:

The significant difference between the eagle and the vulture is their eating habits. While eagles hunt and kill other animals for their food vultures feed on dead animals.

Being classified as a bird of prey, vultures rarely kill other animals. They are primarily carrion eaters; they used to feed in groups with other vulture species and carrion-eating birds. The eating speed of a vulture is impressive as they can eat around 2 pounds of meat in just a minute. 

Eagle Diet:

Eagles are considered at the top of the food chain, and nutrition depends on species and habitat. Golden eagles are carnivorous, and they mainly feed on small mammals such as hares, rabbits, ground squirrels, and marmots. Bald eagles are also predatory, and as they are known as fish eaters, their primary food consists of fish. However, their diet can also include small species of birds, rabbits, reptiles, crabs, and amphibians. 

Vulture Reproduction:

It is believed that vultures are monogamous and form a bond for life with a single individual. Vultures become sexually mature at the age of 5 to 7 years. The larger female species will lay a single egg while smaller species may lay 2 to 3 eggs. Their eggs are incubated for 38 to 68 days, and only 10 percent of the chicks survive their first year. Vultures make their nest on the treetops that can be as large as a king-size bed. 

Eagle Reproduction:

Eagles mate once in a lifetime. The female golden eagle lay eggs between January and May, and the incubating period lies from 41 to 45 days. The chicks hatch out with intervals of several days. The chicks are feed by both the male and the female golden eagle. The hatchlings stay in the nest for 45 to 81 days after they leave the nest by hopping, walking, or falling out. 

Bald eagles are also monogamous, which means they mate once in a lifetime of living together. When the pair build the nest, then the eggs are laid. Both the male and the female take part in incubating the eggs that last 34 to 36 days. When a chick is born, both parents; at the age of 10 to 12 weeks, the chicks start flying. 

Also read about buffalo species.

Turkey Vulture vs Bald Eagle: (Difference and Comparison)

ParameterTurkey VultureBald Eagle
Scientific nameThe scientific name of Turkey vulture is Cathartes Aura.The scientific name of the bald eagle is Haliaeetus Leucocephalus.
HabitatTurkey vultures can be found through the United States, Canada, and in South and Central America. These vultures prefer to habitat in open and wooded areas, including deserts, coastlines, plains, and tropical forests.The bald eagle is a sea eagle that inherits in Alaska and Canada. They prefer to live near water coasts and lakes. 
SizeA turkey vulture is smaller than an eagle weighing only 1.5 kg and reaches 64 to 81 cm in length with a wingspan of 6 feet. 



Bald eagle weighs more than the turkey vulture reaching between 6.5 to 14 pounds and 90 cm in length with a wingspan of 8 feet.
DietThe diet of turkey vultures only consists of dead animals as they only feed on carrionsThe primary menu of bald eagle includes fish. However, they can also prey on small animals such as rabbits, reptiles, and crabs.

Eagle vs Vulture Who Wins:

The size of the vulture can be more significant than an eagle. Still, we cannot deny that the eagle’s hunting skills are more reliable than those of a vulture. The eagle is known to hunt on animals larger animals such as deer, monkeys, and foxes. The eagle can also use its powerful talons and bring down to vulture to severe injury or even death. However, Vultures cannot escape from the eagle because of the difference in vulture vs. Eagle in flight. Eagles have a more straight and powerful flight than vultures. 

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