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Vulture vs. Eagle: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Vultures are scavenging birds, primarily eating carrion, while eagles are birds of prey, known for hunting live animals.
Vulture vs. Eagle

Key Differences

Vultures are scavenging birds, recognized for their bald heads and reliance on carrion as their primary food source. Eagles, on the other hand, are powerful raptors known for their hunting skills, preying on live animals such as fish and small mammals.
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Vultures play a vital ecological role in cleaning up dead animals, thereby preventing the spread of disease. Eagles are apex predators in their ecosystems, influencing the population dynamics of their prey species.
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In terms of physical appearance, vultures generally have weaker feet and less powerful talons compared to eagles, as they do not need to grasp live prey. Eagles have strong talons and beaks, adapted for catching and killing their prey.
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Vultures are often found in groups, especially around a carcass, and are known for their highly developed sense of smell, which helps them locate dead animals. Eagles are typically more solitary or seen in pairs, especially during the breeding season, and rely on their keen eyesight to spot prey.
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Dec 01, 2023
Both vultures and eagles hold significant cultural and symbolic value in various societies, with vultures often symbolizing death and renewal, while eagles represent power and freedom.
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Comparison Chart

Diet

Primarily carrion (dead animals)
Live prey such as fish and small mammals
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Ecological Role

Scavenging, cleaning up dead animals
Apex predators, controlling prey populations
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Physical Characteristics

Bald head, weaker feet, and less powerful talons
Strong talons and beaks for hunting
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Social Behavior

Often found in groups, especially around carrion
More solitary or seen in pairs
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Symbolic Meaning

Death, renewal, and cleanliness in nature
Power, freedom, and majesty
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Vulture and Eagle Definitions

Vulture

Any of various large birds that are carrion eaters.
The vulture soared high, using its keen sense of smell to find food.
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Nov 25, 2023

Eagle

A large bird of prey with a powerful build and keen eyesight.
The eagle swooped down to catch its prey with incredible precision.
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Nov 25, 2023

Vulture

A scavenging bird of prey that primarily feeds on carrion.
The vultures circled overhead, waiting to feast on the remains.
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Nov 25, 2023

Eagle

A predatory bird known for its hunting skills.
The eagle's hunting prowess is unmatched in the bird kingdom.
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Nov 25, 2023

Vulture

A bird known for its role in the ecosystem as a cleaner.
Vultures play a critical role in preventing the spread of disease from dead animals.
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Eagle

A bird with strong talons and a sharp beak, adapted for catching live prey.
The eagle used its talons to grasp the fish from the water.
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Nov 25, 2023

Vulture

A symbolic bird often associated with death and renewal.
In many cultures, the vulture is revered for its association with life's cycles.
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Nov 25, 2023

Eagle

Any of various large diurnal birds of prey of the family Accipitridae, including members of the genera Aquila and Haliaeetus, characterized by broad wings, a hooked bill, keen vision, and soaring flight.
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Oct 19, 2023

Vulture

Any of various large birds of prey characteristically having dark plumage and a featherless head and neck and generally feeding on carrion. Species found in the Americas are in the family Cathartidae, and those found in Eurasia and Africa are in the family Accipitridae.
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Oct 19, 2023

Eagle

A representation of an eagle used as an emblem or insignia.
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Oct 19, 2023

Vulture

A person of a rapacious, predatory, or profiteering nature.
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Oct 19, 2023

Eagle

A gold coin formerly used in the United States, stamped with an eagle on the reverse side and having a face value of ten dollars.
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Oct 19, 2023

Vulture

Any of several carrion-eating birds of the families Accipitridae and Cathartidae.
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Oct 19, 2023

Eagle

(Sports) A golf score of two strokes under par on a hole.
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Oct 19, 2023

Vulture

A person who profits from the suffering of others.
Within ten minutes of the accident, the vultures appeared and were organizing lawsuits.
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Oct 19, 2023

Eagle

To shoot (a hole in golf) in two strokes under par.
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Oct 19, 2023

Vulture

To circle around one's target as if one were a vulture.
Rudy vultured when asking the girl out.
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Oct 19, 2023

Eagle

To score an eagle in golf.
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Oct 19, 2023

Vulture

(obsolete) ravenous; rapacious
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Oct 19, 2023

Eagle

Any of several large carnivorous and carrion-eating birds in the family Accipitridae, having a powerful hooked bill and keen vision.
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Oct 19, 2023

Vulture

Any one of numerous species of rapacious birds belonging to Vultur, Cathartes, Catharista, and various other genera of the family Vulturidæ.
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Oct 19, 2023

Eagle

A gold coin with a face value of ten dollars, formerly used in the United States.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Vulture

Any of various large diurnal birds of prey having naked heads and weak claws and feeding chiefly on carrion
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Oct 19, 2023

Eagle

A 13th-century coin minted in Europe and circulated in England as a debased sterling silver penny, outlawed under Edward I of England.
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Oct 19, 2023

Vulture

Someone who attacks in search of booty
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Oct 19, 2023

Eagle

(golf) A score of two under par for a hole.
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Oct 19, 2023

Vulture

A bird with a bald head, adapted for scavenging.
A group of vultures was seen cleaning up the roadside carcass.
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Nov 25, 2023

Eagle

(golf) To score an eagle.
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Oct 19, 2023

Eagle

Any large, rapacious bird of the Falcon family, esp. of the genera Aquila and Haliæetus. The eagle is remarkable for strength, size, graceful figure, keenness of vision, and extraordinary flight. The most noted species are the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaëtus); the imperial eagle of Europe (Aquila mogilnik or Aquila imperialis); the American bald eagle (Haliæetus leucocephalus); the European sea eagle (Haliæetus albicilla); and the great harpy eagle (Thrasaetus harpyia). The figure of the eagle, as the king of birds, is commonly used as an heraldic emblem, and also for standards and emblematic devices. See Bald eagle, Harpy, and Golden eagle.
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Oct 19, 2023

Eagle

A gold coin of the United States, of the value of ten dollars.
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Oct 19, 2023

Eagle

A northern constellation, containing Altair, a star of the first magnitude. See Aquila.
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Oct 19, 2023

Eagle

The figure of an eagle borne as an emblem on the standard of the ancient Romans, or so used upon the seal or standard of any people.
Though the Roman eagle shadow thee.
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Oct 19, 2023

Eagle

Any of various large keen-sighted diurnal birds of prey noted for their broad wings and strong soaring flight
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Eagle

(golf) a score of two strokes under par on a hole
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Eagle

A former gold coin in the United States worth 10 dollars
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Oct 19, 2023

Eagle

An emblem representing power;
The Roman eagle
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Oct 19, 2023

Eagle

Shoot in two strokes under par
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Oct 19, 2023

Eagle

A symbol of power and freedom in many cultures.
The eagle is often used as a national emblem, representing strength and independence.
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Nov 25, 2023

Eagle

A majestic and solitary bird, often seen as a symbol of leadership.
The lone eagle on the mountaintop was a majestic sight.
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Nov 25, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

What is the primary diet of a vulture?

Vultures primarily feed on carrion.
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Dec 01, 2023

What do eagles mainly eat?

Eagles hunt and eat live prey, such as fish and small mammals.
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Dec 01, 2023

Why do vultures have bald heads?

Bald heads help vultures stay clean while feeding on carrion.
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Dec 01, 2023

Are vultures considered predators?

No, vultures are scavengers, not active predators.
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How do vultures find food?

Vultures have a keen sense of smell to locate carrion.
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Dec 01, 2023

Do vultures hunt live animals?

No, vultures do not typically hunt; they scavenge dead animals.
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Dec 01, 2023

What is the significance of an eagle in many cultures?

Eagles often symbolize strength, freedom, and majesty.
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Dec 01, 2023

Can eagles scavenge like vultures?

While eagles can scavenge, they primarily hunt for live prey.
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Dec 01, 2023

What is the flying capability of an eagle?

Eagles are powerful fliers, capable of soaring at great heights.
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How long can vultures live?

Vultures can live for several decades in the wild.
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Dec 01, 2023

Are eagles endangered?

Some eagle species are endangered due to habitat loss and other factors.
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Dec 01, 2023

Do eagles mate for life?

Many eagle species are monogamous and may mate for life.
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Are eagles solitary birds?

Eagles are typically solitary or found in pairs, especially during breeding.
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Dec 01, 2023

How strong are an eagle's talons?

An eagle's talons are extremely strong, adapted for grasping and killing prey.
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Can vultures carry diseases?

Vultures are highly resistant to pathogens found in carrion, playing a role in disease control.
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Dec 01, 2023

Do vultures have a role in ecosystems?

Yes, vultures help keep ecosystems clean by consuming dead animals.
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Dec 01, 2023

Are vultures social birds?

Yes, vultures are often found in groups, especially around food sources.
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Dec 01, 2023

Are vultures and eagles found worldwide?

Vultures and eagles are found in various parts of the world, but their distribution varies by species.
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Dec 01, 2023

What habitats do eagles prefer?

Eagles inhabit various habitats, often near water bodies for fish-eating species.
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What is the size comparison between vultures and eagles?

Eagles are generally larger and more powerful than most vultures.
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Dec 01, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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