Attack of the zombie birds

While these birds may not be the living dead, they do eat the dead.

Carrion, which is biologist speak for an animal's dead/decaying flesh, is mostly known as the meal preference for birds of prey, but did you know there is a whole group out there of would-be zombie birds? (Warning, some of these photos and videos may be considered icky by some.)

Turkey Vulture

TVs seek carrion by soaring over an open or partly wooded country, watching the ground and watching the actions of other scavengers. Unlike most birds, this species has a well-developed sense of smell and locate food by scent.

American Crow and Common Raven

Both crows and ravens are opportunistic, meaning they will take what they can get, even the dead. If either species take on more than they can digest, no problem, they later spit or regurgitate it up.

Golden Eagle

This gorgeous and much-celebrated bird partakes in some gross eating habits, including chowing down on carrion. Sadly, this habit has contributed to the species decline due to lead and rodenticide poisoning.

California Condor

One of California's favorite garbage disposals, the condor is no stranger to the delicacy of decaying flesh. Sadly, just like the Golden Eagle, ingestion of lead and other poisons has negatively affected this endangered animal.

Tufted Puffin

A seabird with stylish whiskers, Tufted Puffins, make live fish the bulk of their diet but won't turn down carrion if some dead fish float their way. 

Yellow-footed Gull

A distinct species that was long written-off as a local species of Western Gull, the Yellow-footed Gull is one of many birds dependent on the Salton Sea. This clever gull will eat whatever it can find -- including carrion.

Pigeon Guillemot

This striking auk is a mainstay of the Pacific coastline. A colonial bird that primarily feeds on fish and other marine life, it will also eat any dead sea creatures that come across its path.

Snowy Egret

The icon of the National Audubon Society, the Snowy Egret is a fierce hunter, but that doesn't mean that this beautiful bird won't turn down carrion.

Ruddy Turnstone

Ruddy Turnstones can be found on both the east and west coasts. This harlequin-patterned shorebird hasn't met a meal it doesn't like, which includes carrion.

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