Turkey Vulture

The Turkey Vulture, also known as the Turkey Buzzard, is the most widespread of the New World Vultures. It is found from southern Canada to the southern tip of South America. The total population of these birds is estimated at 4 500 000.

Turkey Vultures are easily recognized by their black body and featherless red head. There is minimal sexual dimorphism between males and females. They have a wingspan of 160 – 183 cm (63 – 72 in) and weigh 0.8 – 2.4 kg (1.8 – 5.3 lb). They utilize warm air currents to remain aloft for long periods without flapping their wings.

Their food is almost exclusively carrion which they locate by their keen sense of smell.

These birds nest in sheltered spots such as cliff, caves, hollow trees and thickets. Females usually lay two eggs. Both parents take turns incubating them. Adult birds roost in large communal flocks that may contain hundreds of birds.

Turkey Vulture @ Safari Niagara

  • Safari Niagara is home to two Turkey Vultures.
  • They are named Igor and Fester.
  • You can see one of our Turkey Vultures in the Wonders of Flight Show.

Scientific Classification

Species:C. aura

Did you know?

  • Turkey Vulture populations in the southern United States do not migrate.
  • Those from the northern range migrate all the way to South America for the winter.
  • Turkey Vultures are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 in the United States and the Convention for the Protection of Migratory Birds in Canada.