The story behind this unique photo of a bathing/drinking King Vulture (Sarcoramphus papa) is quite interesting. We found this bird during the first 15 minutes of my Jaguar Photography Tour last year. The big bird was on a river beach with many other common Black Vultures and a few Buff-necked Ibises. King Vultures are usually among the first vultures to arrive at a carcass, because they have sharp beaks able to cut through the tough skin of larger animals. They don't eat rotten meat. They are not common though, and I have only seen soaring birds before this one. There was something dead nearby, otherwise there wouldn't be that many vultures around. But what was it? And did it died naturally or someone killed it?
We found the answer 10 minutes later, when we spotted a large Jaguar sitting on the shade not far from there. That Jaguar had killed a cow the night before. We saw the Jaguar twice at the same place later on, but not the King Vulture anymore.