Do vultures prey on humans?

Answered by Frank Schwing

I’m not really sure if I can answer that question from personal experience, as I’ve never been preyed upon by a vulture myself. However, I can definitely provide you with some information on the topic.

First of all, it’s important to understand that vultures are scavengers, which means they primarily feed on dead animals. They have evolved to have a specialized digestive system that allows them to safely consume decaying flesh without getting sick. This dietary preference for carrion is what sets them apart from other predatory birds like hawks or eagles.

So, when it comes to vultures and humans, there is generally no reason to worry about being attacked. Vultures have no interest in hunting or preying upon live animals, including humans. They simply don’t view us as a potential food source. In fact, vultures tend to be quite timid and will usually fly away if they feel threatened or approached too closely.

However, it’s worth mentioning that vultures can become defensive if they feel cornered or threatened. Like any animal, they may try to protect themselves if they feel their safety is at risk. In such situations, a vulture might resort to biting or scratching as a means of self-defense. However, it’s important to note that these instances are quite rare and usually occur when humans attempt to handle or capture the bird.

Another interesting behavior of vultures, specifically certain species like the Turkey Vulture, is their ability to vomit as a defensive mechanism. When they feel threatened or stressed, they may regurgitate their stomach contents, which produces a foul-smelling odor. This behavior is thought to deter potential predators or threats, as the smell can be quite repulsive. However, it’s important to note that this behavior is not intended to cause harm to humans or pets.

While there is a slim possibility of a vulture biting or vomiting if it feels threatened, there is generally no reason to be concerned about vultures preying on humans or pets. Their natural diet consists of carrion, and they have no interest in attacking live animals. So, if you happen to come across a vulture, the best course of action is to observe from a safe distance and avoid any actions that may make the bird feel threatened.