[ExI] vultures sneeze

spike spike66 at att.net
Sat Jan 17 17:20:02 UTC 2015

Well, I'll be damn.  No, the subject line isn't the name of the new hip hop
group.  I have been watching birds and wildlife for half a century and today
I saw something completely new and unexpected: vultures sneeze.  


I have heard that chirping in birds might have some other purpose besides
intra-species communication; clearing of the airways analogous to mammal's
sneezing.  But that wouldn't apply to non-chirpers such as carnivorous birds
in general.


Vultures are difficult to observe beasts; they don't like people much.  A
vulture had a snake in my neighbor's backyard this morning.  As he was
devouring his snake he did something that looks exactly like a mammalian
sneeze: with the side-to-side head shaking immediately after the discharge,
a little like what dogs, cats and humans sometimes do.


I went for my video camera and made a bunch of video, but none of it is
particularly YouTube-able.  That sneeze would have been, but he didn't
repeat the behavior.


Conclusion: at least one example of a species of carnivorous bird sneezes.



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