Birds of Costa Rica
Vultures and Wood Stork
Black Vultures are often seen hovering in the sky looking out for carrion. With keen eyesight they can spot carcass from a very large distance. Black vultures have a poor sense of smell (good for him) while his cousin, the Turkey Vulture, has a lesser eyesight and a well-developed sense of smell.
The scavengers are beneficial for performing sanitation duties but they also kill newborn or weakened animals, including sea turtle hatchlings.
Near the Ostional Wildlife Refuge a group of vultures has dropped on a dead sea turtle. Only weak and old sea turtles don't make it to their nesting grounds on the beach.
With over 1 m height Wood Storks are are the second tallest birds in Costa Rica, exceeded only by the jabiru stork. Their plumage is white with black feathers unter their wings. They look odd with their unusual and bald head but they fly gracefully. The gregarious birds nest in dense colonies atop mangrove or other trees by the water.
Wood storks are commun in the north of Costa Rica, especially around the Tempisque River.