School of Life Sciences | Ask A Biologist

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Bird Details

Hawk Like Hawk Like

Turkey Vulture

Cathartes aura

Turkey Vulture
copyright Robert Shantz
Length: 27 in. (69 cm)
Most often seen singly or in small groups soaring high overhead with wings set in a broad, open wing-span and tilting from side to side in the rising thermals, it occurs in a wide variety of habitats but mainly in open country. This vulture feeds only on dead carrion located largely by smell. The adults roost together in the same tree or cliff side each night. The nest is scraped onto a cliff ledge or mouth of a cave. The four-digit banding code is TUVU.
Turkey_vulture_niehuis.jpg

Male
copyright Oliver Niehuis

Aerial
Aerial

Chaparral
Chaparral

Desert
Desert

Grasslands
Grasslands

Riparian / River forest
Riparian / River forest

Agricultural
Agricultural

Savanna
Savanna

Cliffs / boulders
Cliffs / boulders

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Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.