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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects

 Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)




Turkey Vulture | Cathartes aura photo
Turkey Vulture, Highway 31, Summer Lake, Oregon

Photograph by Alan And Elaine Wilson. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Turkey Vulture | Cathartes aura photo
Turkey Vulture, Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, Cameron County, Texas

Photograph by Alan And Elaine Wilson. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

TURKEY VULTURE FACTS

Description
The Turkey Vulture is a large black-brown bird with a bare red head. The flight feathers are gray on the underside. It can soar for long periods, holding its long wings held in a shallow v-shape. The pale colored bill is fairly short and hooked. Males and females are similar. Immature birds have a gray head and black beak tip.

Size
length 64cm - 81cm. Wingspan: 170cm - 178cm

Environment
open grassland, farmland, forest, woodland.

Food
carrion, also some insects, fruit.

Breeding
Does not build a nest. Lays eggs on the ground, or in a cave, burrow, hollow log, abandoned building. Lays one to three (usually two) creamy-white eggs with dark blotches.

Range
found in southern Canada throughout the United States, Mexico, Central America, South America.

Classification
Class:Aves
Order:Ciconiiformes
Family:Cathartidae
Genus:Cathartes
Species:aura
Common Name:Turkey Vulture