Turkey Vulture

Name

Turkey Vulture

Scientific Name

Cathartes aura

Characteristics

The Turkey vulture is a large bird with a wingspan of 160-183cm. Its body feathers are mostly brown to black but the flight feathers are grey underneath. The adult’s head is small in proportion to its body and is red in colour with few or no feathers.

Diet

Turkey vultures feast on the decaying carcasses of animals, flying low over the ground to detect the gases rotting bodies give off. 

Vultures are important to the eco system as they dispose of dead animals that could be a cause of disease.

Size Fact

Turkey Vultures can have a 6 foot wingspan, in spite of their large size, they only weigh between 2-4 pounds

Food Fact

Vultures take stranded fish if they can find them 

Fun Fact

The oldest recorded Turkey Vulture was at least 16 years old.

IUCN Red list

 Least concern. The Turkey vulture population is stable mainly due to be included in the US Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 which makes it illegal to take, kill or possess a Turkey Vulture. 

Where do I live?

Turkey vultures are native to North and South America, preferring shrub land and desert habitats. 

Our animals

At Noah’s Ark Zoo farm, we have 2 species of vulture: the White-headed vulture and the Turkey vulture.

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