TURKEY Vulture (Seen in The Woodlands, TX)

Originally called "buzzards," but that term actually refers to a buteo hawk in Europe! There are three vulture species in the United States; two of them reside in Texas.

Sleeping in on a foggy morning!

Since they kept a lower body temperature during the night, they are slow to get moving, waiting until the sun is high, their wings are dry, and the thermals promise a good day for flying!

  Comparing body weight to wing span, the Turkey Vulture is a perfect glider, and can soar well even with weak thermals. Thus, it is able to go all the way into southern Canada in the summer.
Black Vulture (Seen in The Woodlands, TX)

Unlike the turkey vulture, the black vulture is basically non-migratory, because (due to a shorter wingspan) they need the stronger thermals from the warmer climate.  

The black vulture has a shorter wingspan (under 5 feet) than the turkey vulture, as well as a shorter tail, so it glides far less efficiently and has to alternately flap and glide (as compared to the wonderful soaring and gliding of the turkey vulture.)

While it feeds on carcass, unlike the turkey vulture, it has also been known to capture small mammals, reptiles, and even birds. Their wings have white patches near the tips. (The Turkey vulture has much more white on its wings, not just at the tip.)