Turkey Vulture


Turkey Vulture

Scientific Name: Cathartes aura

Turkey Vultures are observed year-round throughout the U.S., and most commonly in areas with warmer climates. Watch for their red heads, pointed beaks and brown wings with a wingspan of six feet. 

Using their keen sense of smell, these massive scavengers tend to dine on any animal remains that they can find, but they will sometimes capture live prey. Once a Turkey Vulture finds a fresh carcass, others will soon join in, picking the remains clean and thereby helping to keep our ecosystem healthy and disease-free.

Turkey Vultures can live 20 years or more and congregate nightly to sleep in large communal roosts. In the early morning hours you may see them sunbathing in a tree with their wings spread out to increase their body temperature after a cool night.”

Betty Kanne, expert birder

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