Cathartes aura • Birds
The turkey vulture’s most notable characteristic is the red to reddish-purple skin on their bald head and neck. Their body is covered with blackish brown feathers with a silver lining. They have pale legs, gray-brown eyes, and are 26-32” long.
A turkey vulture’s diet is almost exclusively carrion. Their feet and beak are too weak to kill their own food. They have a highly developed sense of smell, which they use to locate dead flesh while soaring at 200 ft.
Turkey vultures live across the United States during the summer in dry, open areas, deciduous forests and woodlands. If migrating, the bird will soar at 4,000-5,000’. One of the largest turkey vulture migration patterns in the world can be seen over CALM during October.
Females lay 2 eggs yearly and the male will incubate the eggs for 38-41 days.