Black vultures are a common and widespread species, ranging from the southern U.S. through Central and South America. They have a featherless, grey head, silvery patches near the tips of their wings, primarily black plumage, and a fairly short tail. Like all vultures, they play an important role in the environment by eating carrion, essentially serving as a natural clean-up crew. Black vultures are fairly social and can sometimes be seen traveling or roosting in large flocks. Although they are slightly smaller than the turkey vulture, another common species, black vultures are often capable of driving off competition because of their numbers.