Common to both Americas, this bird inhabits a variety of open and semi-open areas, including subtropical forests, grasslands, pastures and deserts. During the flight, it characteristically lifts its wings forming the letter V and can glide for many hours penetrating the area. It spends nights on trees in large flocks, while during daytime glides alone, searching for food. Turkey Vultures have excellent sense of smell and can detect odour of a dead animal from several kilometers. As they are scavengers, they play a significant role of cleaning the environment of dead animals. It feeds with carrion found on the streets and river banks.
They reach the ability to reproduce at the age of 4. Pairs build nests in very safe hideouts – on ledges, under fallen trees, in ruined buildings or in tree holes. Females lay two cream-coloured, speckled eggs. Parents take turns incubating the eggs and, after hatching, raise the offspring together. After 40 days chicks are able to leave the nest.
Did you know? – In case of danger Turkey Vultures vomit the partially-digested food into their nest. In most cases this behaviour successfully prevents the nest from being plundered by predators.
- Latin name: Cathartes aura
- IUCN – Red List – LC – Least concern