What do vultures eat?

Vultures are scavengers that primarily feed on carrion, which is the decaying flesh of dead animals. Here are the key points about the diet of vultures based on the provided search results:

What Vultures Eat

  • Vultures eat mostly carrion or dead animals, removing them from roadsides and other areas12. They rely almost entirely on dead animals for food2.
  • They feed on carcasses of various animals like livestock (cows, goats, lambs), wild mammals (deer, raccoons, opossums), and even large animals like alligators or pigs24.
  • Turkey vultures prefer fresh or mildly decayed carcasses when available, but will eat more rotten carrion in the absence of fresher food4.
  • Vultures can tear apart and swallow small mammal carcasses like mice and shrews, including small bones4.
  • The Andean condor, a large vulture species, may sometimes attack newborn, weak or old animals like llamas, lambs or goats1.

What Vultures Don't Eat

  • Turkey vultures typically bypass carcasses of cats, dogs, and coyotes unless no other food is available3.
  • Vultures do not usually eat other vultures, unless they are extremely hungry3.
So in summary, vultures are highly specialized scavengers that feed primarily on the carcasses of dead animals of various sizes, preferring fresh kills when possible, but able to consume more decayed remains as needed124.
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