Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture
Cathartes aura


CLASS
Aves
ORDER
Falconiformes
FAMILY
Cathartidae

Range

North, Central, and South America


Habitat

Found in a variety of habitats, from deserts to savannas and grasslands, to tropical and temperate forests


Diet

Mainly carrion (dead animals)

Weight

2 - 4 lbs.

Length

25 - 30 in.

Wingspan

Up to 6 ft.

Clutch

2 eggs

IUCN Status

Least Concern

Facts

  • While moving on the ground, a turkey vulture walks or hops clumsily with a sideways hitch.
  • When alarmed by a potential predator, it will often regurgitate its food. This startles the predator and lightens the turkey vulture so it can fly away!
  • Unlike most birds, the turkey vulture has a very good sense of smell. This helps the bird to seek out hidden food and detect it from long distances away.
  • Vulture excreta has a high uric acid content that acts as a sanitizer as they defecate on their own legs, killing any bacteria the birds pick up while consuming carrion.

 

Conservation

Turkey Vultures are the most common vulture in the Americas.

Least Concern

Open Daily 9 am - 5 pm

Closed only Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Year's Day

Address

Alexandria Zoo
3016 Masonic Drive
Alexandria, LA 71301
P: (318) 441-6810

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