Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Cathartes Aura
Turkey Vulture Physical Characteristics
Red, Dark Brown
16 years in the wild
2-5 pounds
Turkey Vulture Distribition


” Nature’s tidy- up staff.”

The Turkey Vulture is likewise recognized in The United States and Canada as the Turkey Buzzard, or in some cases simply Buzzard. It is discovered from southerly Canada to the pointer of South America.

It is a relatively huge bird with a wingspan of as much as 6 feet, and can in some cases be misinterpreted for an eagle or osprey. These vultures are most typically seen while driving on the open roadway and commonly fly with their wings elevated in a “V” while making shaky circles.

3 Outstanding Turkey Vulture Realities

  • Not Relatives: Turkey Vultures come from the “New Globe” team of Vultures While they look similar to the “Vintage” team of Vultures in Europe, they are not carefully associated. They progressed individually in time to establish a number of the exact same qualities in a procedure called convergent advancement.
  • Solid Tummies: A Turkey Vulture’s belly acid is extremely solid to make sure that it can absorb decaying, unhealthy meat without damage. They likewise make use of solid acid and rancid dishes as a defense reaction. When a risk strategies, they spit up the materials of their belly. The solid acid and rank odor will certainly hinder the risk from proceeding better.
  • Airborne Sharks: Tukey Vultures utilize their eager feeling of odor to discover worn out carcasses that are their major food resource. The component of their mind made use of for odor is especially huge contrasted to various other birds, and they identify smells that are as reduced as a couple of components per trillion airborne.

Where to Discover Turkey Vultures

Turkey Vultures are discovered year- round in Southern The United States and Canada, Central America, and South America. They can likewise be discovered in the North USA and Southern Canada in the summertime.

Turkey Vultures are scavengers, so they are most regularly discovered near humans. They are the simplest to discover while driving around open locations near forests, as they regularly eat the remains of “roadkill,” tiny animals that have actually been struck and eliminated by cars.

Turkey Vultures can be observed overhead en masse of huge birds with fly an upswept “V” and flying tottering in circles. They make use of thermal updrafts to remain in the air while they utilize their eager feeling of sight and odor to discover their following dish.

Turkey Vulture Nests

Turkey Vultures do not develop a complete “bird’s nest” that is regular of various other smaller sized birds. They will certainly discover separated locations that are cooler than the environments. Locations might consist of walks or rock gaps in north- encountering high cliffs, caverns, thickets, hollow logs, dropped trees, and even deserted structures.

They might organize greenery and leaves, scuff an area in the dirt or log, and relocate smaller sized rocks or particles. While they usually are discovered near humans, they choose to nest far from the task to prevent disruption.

In some cases, they might recycle the exact same nest for years.

Turkey Vulture Scientific name

The Turkey Vulture has the scientific name Cathartes mood Its class is Aves and comes from the Cathartidae family.

The typical name “Turkey” originates from its similarity to the grownup’s hairless red head and dark tuft of a male wildTurkey “Vulture” originates from the Latin word vulturus, indicating “tearer,” of just how it consumes the carcasses of departed animals.

There are 5 subspecies of Turkey Vulture:

  • Cathartes Mood Mood is the choose species and is primarily discovered in Mexico and South America
  • Cathartes Mood Jota is called the Chilean turkey vulture
  • Cathartes Mood Meridionalis is called the Western turkey vulture
  • Cathartes Mood Ruficollis is called the Exotic turkey vulture
  • Cathartes Mood Septentrionalis is called the Eastern turkey vulture

Turkey Vulture Dimension, Appearance, and Actions

Turkey Vultures are huge birds, with as much as a 6- foot wingspan, a size of 32 inches, and evaluating as much as 5.3 extra pounds. Their external plumes are primarily brown- black, with the plumes on their wings commonly white/gray in shade. When in trip, the wings show up to have “fingers” at the ends. Their head is tiny and looks like a turkey, hairless without plumes and red in shade, and their connected beak is brief and white/gray in shade.

A Turkey Vulture’s feet are lengthy and regular of a bird of this dimension. The talons show up similar to an eagle or hawk yet are not extremely effective and not well matched to realize items or victim.

On the ground, they are uncomfortable and have a weird, awkward jumping stroll. It takes a great deal of initiative to fly, so they are sluggish to fly unless intimidated. Throughout the trip, they generally take a trip in teams and can in some cases be seen roosting in the hundreds.

turkey vultures mating
Ah… springtime impends. These turkey vultures were taking part in a breeding dancing.James W. Thompson/Shutterstock. com

Turkey Vulture Diet

Turkey Vultures are scavengers and commonly eat carrion (decomposing flesh of animals). They hardly ever strike anything living. Their eager feeling of odor permits them to identify extremely percentages of the smell of decomposing flesh airborne as they fly.

They will commonly fly in smaller sized and smaller sized circles till they zero in on the carcass. Their belly has a high degree of acid, and they can absorb meat with high degrees of microorganisms and illness without damage to themselves.

Turkey Vulture Predators, Hazards, and Conservation Status

Turkey Vultures have couple of all-natural predators, and those that are predators do not take them extremely usually. Regular predators are golden eagles, bald eagles, red- trailed hawks, and fantastic- horned owls. These birds might exploit older grownups that are unwell and/or sluggish.

Foxes and dogs can slip up on them while feeding, yet it is unusual.

The biggest risk to Turkey Vultures is consuming the remains of animals that seekers have actually fired with lead. They eat the lead while feeding, and at some point, they pass away from lead poisoning at high adequate degrees.

Humans might likewise catch or eliminate them from the fallacy that they spread out illness. Nonetheless, Turkey Vultures assist the atmosphere by eliminating decaying carcasses that might or else spread out illness.

Reproduction, Youthful, and Molting

Turkey Vultures lay their eggs starting in the springtime with very early summer season. This relies on the area and latitude of their place. In cooler areas, they start later on in the springtime with late summer season.

Normally, 2 eggs are laid, in some cases just one, and hardly ever 3. The eggs are white in shade with dark areas around the bigger size. The young commonly hatch out after 30 to 40 days.

The young are powerless when they hatch out, and the moms and dads look after them for 10 to 12 weeks. At concerning the exact same time, the young fledge can fly individually. The family will stay with each other till loss.


Existing international populace price quotes vary in between 18- 28 Million. The populace has actually been progressively raising over the previous half a century.

The conservation status is of reduced worry as a result of the absence of several all-natural predators

Similar Animals



  1. All About Birds, Available here: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Turkey_Vulture/overview
  2. Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkey_vulture
  3. Audobon, Available here: https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/turkey-vulture
  4. Britannica, Available here: https://www.britannica.com/animal/turkey-vulture

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