Are Vultures Intelligent?

Vultures are among the top scavenging birds that dine in carcasses.

They are even depicted in movies with wild carnivorous instincts as well.

However, vultures are in no way similar to these shows.

In fact, they are known to possess a harmless attitude and great intelligence. 

This bird of prey is famous for their scavenging nature and predates most on carrions.

Although they mostly survive on dead bodies or carrions of other species, they are pretty harmless to humans.

Question is – Are Vultures Intelligent? 


Vultures are also incredibly intelligent and have amazing senses as well, making them extremely sharp.

This bird of prey has several species, but most of them are pretty sociable as well.

Also, some species of this bird know how to use tools, can recognize pretty much everyone in their flock, and even play. 

Let’s get into more detail in this article

Carry on reading

How Smart is a Vulture?

Vultures are one of the top scavengers in the world and they also possess incredible intelligence.

There are around 23 vulture species around the world, each one with a unique personality and intelligence. 

For instance, typical bird deterrents and other tactics to scare away other birds would never work against them.

This is especially true for Black Vultures as they are completely aware that shiny objects, noise deterrents, and other fake animals would not be able to harm them.

We also know that crows and ravens are among the birds that have extreme intelligence even to the point of passing standardized tests.

Vultures are already smart enough to par these very same corvids.

In fact, crows are known to make use of tools, but vultures can do that too, such as the Egyptian vultures.

Black vultures and turkey vultures can even be trained in education programs made to perform complicated tasks.

They also have a great sense of facial recognition, on top of their friendliness to humans. 

So yes, Vultures are very smart and intelligent

What Is The Personality Of a Vulture?

Unfortunately, movies and even other forms of entertainment have depicted vultures as bad birds.

Eating dead bodies, killing livestock and pets, disgusting and ugly birds are just some of the common misconceptions of many people.

But in fact, these are untrue.

Vultures only eat dead bodies of animals and will rarely attack healthy ones.

Check out my article – Are vultures dangerous?

Instead, these birds of prey may just go for weak and dying animals. (Have a read of this article – Do vultures eat live animals?)

Vultures are not bad birds and are generally harmless to people.

They are intelligent and sociable enough to be trained and share a bond with trainers and experts.

These birds play one of the most important roles in our ecosystem as well – preventing the spread of diseases as they eat carcasses. 

Are Vultures Curious?

Vultures possess great intelligence.

They are not fooled by bird deterrents such as noise deterrents, shiny objects, and fake birds to scare away other species.

They are also known to use tools, recognize faces, and detect carcasses with their supreme sense of smell.

Though it is not yet proven whether vultures have high level curiosity, it is logically possible that they are not a curious-type of bird.

In fact, they are also careful in everything they do, given how these birds are objects of disgust to many people leading some of them to be killed. 

Do Vultures Recognize Humans?

Vultures are smart enough to recognize people.

These birds, unlike their usual depiction in stories and movies, can be quite affectionate to humans.

Some species of vultures are being cared for by some experts to train them for various programs. 

These tamed vultures are usually affectionate, caring, and show deep bond toward their caretakers.

Naturally, they are able to recognize people as well.

This only shows that vultures are not only intelligent beings, but also quite harmless to humans. 

Which Bird Is Known For Its Intelligence?

While vultures and other bird species are known for having great intelligence, the only bird species that tops the list are crows. 

Crows are highly intelligent – enough to even make use of different tools, possess high-order thinking skills, form a cause-and-effect thinking, and even hold grudges for animals or people they remember.

After all, these crows can remember and recognize people quite vividly for years.

In general, all birds from the corvid family possess a higher level of intelligence than most species.

This is why these birds are considered to be one of the most intelligent birds in the world. 

I have written articles about how smart crows are, if you’re interested in reading them you can check out the links below! I think you will definitely find them interesting

Are crows smarter than dogs? 

Are crows smarter than ravens?

Wrapping Up 

Vultures are smart birds, enough for them to even be trained in programs, play, and not even be fooled with typical bird deterrents.

Contrary to the belief that these birds are dangerous and bad to humans, vultures are actually quite friendly and sociable.

They only eat dead bodies of animals and only attack those dying animals already.

Vultures would never attack healthy living animals and actually help the world to become a better and safer place. 

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