In the fall of 2013, Vincent, a 12-week-old Black Vulture was transferred to ARC from another rehabilitation facility. She had suffered from Avian Pox resulting in the partial amputation of her right wing, not allowing her to return to the wild.
Vinnie is in training as one of our educational ambassadors and she has participated in a few educational programs and done very well. Black Vultures do not hunt and kill prey but rather search for carrion (animals that have already died) therefore playing an indispensable role in preventing the spread of disease from decomposing animals.
Black Vultures stay with their mates for many years, all year round. They feed their young for as long as 8 months and maintain strong social bonds with their families throughout their lives.
In 2018, we DNA tested Vincent. What a surprise, the results say she is a female! Her name is now Lavinia, or Vinnie for short.
Lavinia-Vincent- Black Vulture
Vultures, Caracaras and Osprey
Galina was a juvenile when she was found on the ground in Lake County suffering from a traumatic injury to her right wing. Her wing had been fractured at the shoulder. She was admitted to ARC on August 9, 2017 and was under evaluation for nearly 2 months to determine if she would be able to regain sufficient use of her wing to live and hunt in the wild. Although Galina was able to fly short distances, it was determined that she would never have enough strength to come up out of the water when fishing.
In October of 2017, Galina was transferred to our exhibit permit and began her training to work as an Education Ambassador.
Quixote- Crested Caracara
Quixote is a young Crested Caracara from Florida, just about two years old. His wing was permanently injured and so he cannot be released. While it is unknown how he injured his wing, young Caracaras will sometimes feed on roadkill, and so it is thought he may have been struck by a car while feeding by the roadside.
Caracaras will eat carrion, and are often found feeding on the ground. They have long legs with which they can hunt and kill snakes without being struck. Due to their crane-like legs, Caracaras are sometimes compared to Vultures, but they are actually in the falcon family! Despite being related to falcons genetically, they bear little resemblance to their fast flying cousins, with featherless skin around their face, long necks, and thick bills. They're social birds, and when food is abundant, they be found in the wild roosting in groups of dozens at a time!
When Caracaras become excited, their yellow facial skin flushes, and can turn quite pink, quite a sight to see! Quixote enjoys taking a bath on hot summer days. If you meet him at ARC, listen for his call - it's gravely rattle is a unique sound indeed.