For the past few years the Carpenter Nature Center has hosted programs by the World Bird Sanctuary each March. The programs run through out the first weekend and are a fundraiser for the nature center. I spend most of the weekend helping out, although mostly what I do is take pictures for CNC. This year one of the more exotic birds that the World Bird Sanctuary brought up was an Egyptian vulture named Osiris. I was fortunate enough to get to hold Osiris for a minute.
The Egyptian vulture is different then the new world vultures that we see here in North America because the Egyptian vulture in an omnivore. Their primary food is carrion like other vultures. Since they are smaller then most of the predators and other scavengers in northern Africa, were they are primarily found, they are usually one of the last to eat. Fortunately their long skinny beak helps them to reach places that the larger scavengers can not get to. Besides dead animals the Egyptian vulture also will eat rotting fruits and vegetables. Their favorite food though are ostrich eggs. Ostrich eggs are large with shells that are too thick for an Egyptian vulture to break with their beak so these clever birds have been known to drop rocks on to the eggs, smashing them open to get to the tasty insides.