I thought it only fitting to share information on the turkey vulture, as yesterday was Thanksgiving and all. The turkey vulture is also called the turkey buzzard. They actually don’t actively hunt turkeys but rather prefer carrion, like other vultures. This article is on special request. Enjoy!
First the Stats…
Scientific name: Cathartes aura
Length: 2.1 – 2.7 ft.
Weight: 3.3 lbs
Height: 2.5 feet
Wingspan: 66 – 70 inches
Lifespan: 16 years (in the wild) | over 30 years (in captivity)
Now on to the Facts!
1.) The Turkey Vultures live from southern Canada throughout the U.S. and down south through southern South America and even the Caribbean.
2.) A turkey vulture won’t build a nest, instead they prefer to lay their eggs directly on the ground.
3.) The female lays between 1 – 3 eggs and deposits them into burrows, caves, crevices, and even hollow logs.
4.) These fascinating critters eat a wide variety of carrion (dead animals), from small mammals to dead cows. Insects, other invertebrates, and certain fruits are also eaten.
5.) These vultures are almost exclusively scavengers and are rarely seen actually hunting live prey.
But wait, there’s more on the turkey vulture!
7.) They are able to save energy by gliding. They can also fly very low to the ground in an attempt to pick up the scent of dead animals.
Did you know…?
Turkey vultures, like all vultures, have no feathers on their heads. This helps them stave off bacteria and subsequent infections from the dead they consume.
8.) Turkey Vultures play an important role in the health of our ecosystems. As nature’s clean-up crews, they help eliminate rotting carcasses, which helps control the spread of certain diseases!