Dec 132012
 

(Cathartes aura) When harassed, they will regurgitate their stomach contents of rotten meat, which is usually enough to deter predators because of its putrid smell.

What does the turkey vulture eat?

Turkey Vultures are scavengers and use their keen sense of smell to find fresh carcasses. Turkey vultures eat mainly carrion and almost never kill anything larger than a mouse.

 

How long do they live?

Approximately 10 years in the wild.

 

How many turkey vultures can be born at a time?

1 to 3 eggs are laid each breeding season.

 

Where are they found?

Turkey vultures range as far north as the southern border of Canada and as far south as the southernmost part of South America.

 

Interesting facts:

  • Turkey Vultures are majestic but unsteady soarers. Their teetering flight with very few wing beats is characteristic.
  • Turkey vultures move around a lot in order to find food.
  • Turkey vultures have a well-developed sense of smell and are one of the only species of birds worldwide that uses smell.
  • When harassed, they will regurgitate their stomach contents of rotten meat, which is usually enough to deter predators because of its putrid smell.


Turkey Vultures at the Zoo

Emesis – is the name of the Turkey vulture at the Big Bear Alpine Zoo. She came to us in 2011 from Lucerne Valley. She was found on the ground with a broken wing which eventually had to be amputated. She has a very sweet temperament and we may be able to use her as an ambassador animal eventually.