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Colony dwellers

There is no particular pecking order in a vulture colony... though there are always affinities and hostilities between individual birds.

Vultures will remain silently perched on ledges, in couples or small groups, not moving for hours on end.

They seem to derive immense pleasure from sitting motionless, with their eyes closed, while other members of the colony preen their feathers! Sitting still is also a good way of dealing with initial aggressive reactions (scapular feathers raised).

Young birds will club together, or make plans... to set off on migration together, or start amorous relations.

Around corpses, some birds are naturally dominant, others more timid, but in general the hungriest will get the upper hand and serve themselves first.

A timorous vulture will nevertheless sometimes take the risk of being the first to land on a carcass, before having to jostle with more aggressive comrades.