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April 29, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Birds of a Feather: Cathartidae – New World Vultures

There are around 11,000 bird species on this planet, and this series will introduce you to some of the families that make up the class of birds known as Aves. We will review each family’s evolutionary history, distribution, natural history, fun facts, and look at conservation concerns for the family as a whole. This series is intended for birders who are looking for a deeper understanding of avian taxonomy and biology. This class is part of a series (more classes soon!). Each class is standalone and must be purchased separately.

Birds of a Feather: Cathartidae – New World Vultures

Perhaps you have heard the exciting news that California Condors will soon be sailing over southern Oregon again? Join us to learn about the California Condor, as well as the other six species that make up the family Cathartidae, the New World Vultures.

We will spend the first half of class discussing the evolution of birds and Cathartidae and their morphology. We will also explore recent developments in DNA studies that enlighten us as to where they are likely placed on our current taxonomic tree. The fossil history of Cathartidae is complex and will be fun to discover together.

Lastly, how does their morphology enhance their ability to scavenge? How have they adapted to be the best at soaring of all land birds?

In the second half of the class, we will discuss the natural history and conservation of this intriguing family of birds. How do these birds get all of their nutrition from scavenging? Do all species have an excellent sense of smell like our local, beloved Turkey Vulture?

And finally, we will have a special guest, Mary Coolidge (BirdSafe & Non-lead Campaign Coordinator at Bird Alliance of Oregon), who has been working with California Condor for the past few years. Mary will talk about all things California Condor, from the reason for their recovery to current plans to start a release site near the California/Oregon border.

$20 – $30
A King Vulture is perched on a low branch, looking left, against a green background.
King Vulture, photo by Mick Thompson

Join us and learn about the fascinating world of the Cathartidae family!

Discover the California Condor, as well as the other six species that make up the family Cathartidae, the New World Vultures.


Class Details

  • Class: April 29, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
    Class fee: $20 members / $30 non-members
  • Note: Class recordings will be sent out automatically to everyone who registered post-class. Thank you!



April 29, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Categories:
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Bird Alliance of Oregon
5151 NW Cornell Road
Portland, OR 97210 United States
+ Google Map
$20 – $30


Tara Lemezis