Vultures and gulls are scavengers and have a role in removing carrion from the ecosystem.
A Turkey Vulture is eating what appears to be a dead Herring Gull on the Ocracoke beach.
An immature Great Black-backed Gull watches and waits patiently.
When the vulture flew off, the gull took over.
Photographed Feb. 19 by Peter Vankevich.
This is an apropos posting for this week. Back in my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio every March 15 we celebrate the return of the turkey vultures, commonly known as buzzards in the area, to the Hinckley Reservation of Cleveland Metroparks. This is always a big day! https://www.clevelandmetroparks.com/parks/visit/parks/hinckley-reservation/buzzard-roost
I have seen more Turkey Vultures on Ocracoke this winter than in the past, including six eating a dead bottlenose dolphin last week.