Turkey Vulture

Scientific Name: Cathartidae aura

Habitat: Turkey Vultures can be found in grasslands, foothills, open country, shrub lands, and cliffs. They are often found near open forests for nesting.

Diet: Turkey Vultures eat mostly carrion, and they are scavengers. They eat small dead mammals, but they also eat dead cows! Turkey Vultures also eat some fruit, insects, and invertebrates.

Sound: The Turkey Vulture is mostly silent, but the nestlings make a hissing sound.

Nesting: Turkey Vultures don’t build nests, and they place their 1 to 3 eggs in sheltered places such as in hollow trees or logs, cliffs, thickets, caves, or abandoned buildings. Both the male and the female incubate the eggs, and the time they are incubated for is about 28 days. When the chicks hatch they have down and are helpless.

Behavior: As Turkey Vultures soar over scavenging areas they try to locate carrion by using sight and smell. Turkey Vultures usually scavenge alone, but sometimes gather around food.

Description/field marks: Turkey Vultures are about 25 to 32 inches long, and they have wingspans of about 67 to 70 inches. They have heavy bills, and their heads are pink and have no feathers. A good way to identify this vulture in flight is to look at the underside of the wings. The primary and secondary feathers are gray, and the upper part of the wings are brownish black, like the rest of the body. The feet and legs are pink.

Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture

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