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Turkey Vulture

Carthartes aura


The body of this Vulture is dark black other than the head. It is covered in thick feathers but the head is bald. It is believed this prevents various types of parasites from their food getting into their feathers. They are plump and they have a yellow beak that is very sharp. It allows them to get into tough types of food items. They have white and yellow under their wings that can be detected only when they are in flight.


Lake Lewisville area.


Turkey vultures are related to the stork, not to birds of prey. They can travel up to 322 kilometers (200 miles) in a day. Lacking strength in their tiny grasping claw, turkey vultures are the only scavenger birds that can't kill their prey. They have an extremely acute sense of smell that helps them detect food. The turkey vulture's digestive system has the unique ability to kill any virus and bacteria in the food the bird eats. If cornered by a human or animal that is perceived as threatening, the turkey vulture may roll over and play dead, or project offensive smelling vomit as a defense.

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Spotted by

Denton, Texas, USA

Spotted on Oct 17, 2012
Submitted on Oct 29, 2012

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