Bible Birds – Vulture Introduction

Black Vulture by Lee Myakka SP

Black Vulture by Lee Myakka State Park

“But these are the ones that you shall not eat: the eagle, the bearded vulture, the black vulture,” (Deuteronomy 14:12 NKJV)

  • Christian Standard Bible (CSB) “but these are the ones you may not eat: eagles, bearded vultures, black vultures,
  • Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) “but these you are not to eat: eagles, vultures, ospreys,
  • Easy-to-Read Version (ERV) “But don’t eat any of these birds: eagles, vultures, buzzards,
  • English Standard Version (ESV) “But these are the ones that you shall not eat: the eagle, the bearded vulture, the black vulture,
  • Expanded Bible (EXB) “But do not eat these birds: eagles, vultures, black vultures, 13 red kites, falcons, any kind of kite,
  • GOD’S WORD Translation (GW) “But here are the birds that you should never eat: eagles, bearded vultures, black vultures,
  • International Children’s Bible (ICB)  “But do not eat these birds: eagles, vultures, black vultures,
  • International Standard Version (ISV) “You may eat all clean birds, 12 but you must not eat any of these: the eagle, vulture, osprey, 13 buzzard, any kind of kite,
  • Names of God Bible (NOG) “But here are the birds that you should never eat: eagles, bearded vultures, black vultures,
  • New English Translation (NET) “But do not eat these birds: eagles, vultures, black vultures,
  • New International Reader’s Version (NIRV) “But there are many birds you can’t eat. They include eagles, vultures, and black vultures.
Leviticus 11:18 and Deuteronomy 14:17 (NKJV) mention a carrion vulture. Jeremiah 12:9 mentions a speckled vulture.
All of these verses give us several different kinds of vultures.
vulture
bearded vulture – covered in Bible Birds – Ossifrage
black vulture
carrion vulture
speckled vulture
I am sure if I checked all of the translation available in BibleGateway, I would find some other type of Vulture. That might be a project you could do.
The vultures belong to the same family as the Buzzards recently written about. Accipitridae – Kites, Hawks & Eagles Family.
“A vulture is a scavenging bird of prey. The two types of vultures are the New World vultures, including the Californian and Andean condors, and the Old World vultures, including the birds that are seen scavenging on carcasses of dead animals on African plains. Some traditional Old World vultures (including the bearded vulture) are not closely related to the others, which is why the vultures are to be subdivided into three taxa rather than two. New World vultures are found in North and South America; Old World vultures are found in Europe, Africa, and Asia, meaning that between the two groups, vultures are found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica.”

White-backed Vultures (Gyps_africanus) on zebra carcass ©WikiC

From that description, again, you can see why those birds aren’t eaten. Eating something they just killed would be bad enough, but to eat things that had already died. That is not the kind of bird you would want to eat at Thanksgiving.
Here are some of the Vultures from around the world:

ABC’s of the Gospel

Bible Birds – Buzzards

Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus) by Nikhil Devasar

Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus) by Nikhil Devasar

But these you shall not eat: the eagle, the vulture, the buzzard, (Deuteronomy 14:12 NKJV)

*  These are the translations that use buzzard in this verse: (From BibleGateway)

  • Amplified Bible (AMP) black buzzard
  • Easy-to-Read Version (ERV) buzzard
  • Good News Translation (GNT) buzzard
  • Living Bible (TLB) buzzard
  • The Message (MSG) buzzard
  • Modern English Version (MEV) buzzard
  • New American Standard Bible (NASB) buzzard
  • New King James Version (NKJV) buzzard
  • New Life Version (NLV) buzzard
  • The Voice (VOICE) buzzard

Other versions of this verse call it other names, which we will talk about in other Bible Bird articles.

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 6:26 NKJV)

Buzzards belong to the  Accipitridae – Kites, Hawks & Eagles Family and has 28 species in this family with “Buzzard” in their name. Members of this family are known as “Birds of Prey” or “raptors” by many.

Grey-faced Buzzard (Butastur indicus) by Peter Ericsson

Grey-faced Buzzard (Butastur indicus) by Peter Ericsson

From Britannica “True buzzards, or buteos, belong to the subfamily Buteoninae of the family Accipitridae. When in flight, they can usually be distinguished from other birds of prey by their broad wings and expansive rounded tails. They fly with slow heavy wing beats and soar gracefully. The plumage of most species is essentially dark brown above and white or mottled brown below, and the tail and underside of the wings usually are barred. There is much variability of color, however, even between individuals of a single species. Buzzards customarily prey on insects and small mammals and only occasionally attack birds. The nest, in a tree or on a cliff, is substantial, built of sticks and lined with softer materials. The two to five whitish eggs are blotched with brown.”

Black-breasted Buzzard (Hamirostra melanosternon) by Ian

One of several medium-sized, wide-ranging raptors with a robust body and broad wings. In particular, those in the genus Buteo. In the Old World, members of this genus are named as “buzzards”, but “hawk” is more common in North America.

Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo) ©WikiC

Bible Birds – Buzzard

In Europe, the Common Buzzard, Buteo buteo, where Buzzard is often used as a synonym. The Common Buzzard is the most known buzzard in the Old World.

In the New World Buzzard can mean:

  • A vulture, particularly the American Black Vulture and Turkey Vulture, or as a general term for vultures.

Quotes from Britannica and Wikipedia with editing.

Another Bible verse with “buzzard” is in Leviticus:

And these you shall regard as an abomination among the birds; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, the vulture, the buzzard, (Leviticus 11:13 NKJV)

Both verses, Leviticus 11:13 and Deuteronomy 14:12 are listed in the birds not to be eaten by the Israelites. Considering what they eat, I am in no hurry to eat them either.

See:

Wordless Birds

Bible Birds – Osprey Introduction

and the osprey

Bible Birds – Osprey Introduction

“But these are they of which ye shall not eat: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the osprey,” (Deuteronomy 14:12 KJV)

The Osprey is another bird on the “Do Not Eat” list. Here in central Florida, we see Ospreys quite frequently. Their nest are usually noticeable on platforms placed for them. On a road between Eagle Lake and Bartow, (which I have renamed “Osprey Road”) there is a nest in the V structure of almost every power distribution pole. There are at least 15-20 nests in about a mile or so. The Ospreys will show up after the first of the year and stay for about 4 months while they breed and raise their young.

 

The Osprey is in a family by itself. They are widely distributed around the world. They are closely related to the Hawk and the Falcon. They are 21-24 inches long with a wingspan of 54-72 inches. The females are slightly larger and both look alike. Their diet is almost entirely fish, but they do eat small rodents and birds. When fishing, they fly 30 to 100 feet above the water and will hover when they find a fish. They will plunge into the water with their feet under them to catch the fish. “Rises from water with fish gripped in both feet, pauses in midair to shake water from plumage, and to arrange fish with the head pointed forward, which reduces its resistance to air, flies with it to” perch or nest to feed young. Can carry up to four or more pounds.

God has designed the Osprey with several interesting features. Their feet have four equal length toes with “long, strong claws, curved about one-third of a circle, and completely round.” “The lower surface, or pads, of the toes are covered with spicules, which help it hold slippery fishes; also, it is the only hawk that has outer toe reversible as in owls; this enables it to grasp its prey with two toes in front, tow in back. Its plumage is compact, which helps blunt its impact and reduces wetting when it plunges into the water.”

All quotes from (The Audubon Society Encyclopedia of North American Birds).

More Bible Birds

Birds of the Bible – Ospreys on Leesbird.com