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Turkey Vulture

Umbrella Cockatoo
Tundra Swan

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Tundra Swan

  • Cygnus columbianus
  • Ducks & Geese

About the Turkey Vulture

The Turkey Vulture is the most common vulture in the Americas. Despite the similarity in name and appearance, this species is unrelated to the Old World vultures of the family Accipitridae, which also includes eagles, hawks, kites and harriers.

This bird got its common name by the resemblance of the adult's bald red head (and possibly its dark plumage) to that of the male Wild Turkey.

While soaring, they hold their wings in a V-shape and often tip 'drunkenly' from side to side, frequently causing the gray flight feathers to appear silvery as they catch the light.

The Turkey Vulture is found in open and semi-open areas throughout the Americas from southern Canada to Cape Horn. It is a permanent resident in the southern United States but northern birds may migrate as far south as South America.

Details & Stats

Hatched Added to Birdorable on: 05 December 2007
Scientific Name Cathartes aura
  • Ciconiiformes
  • Cathartidae
  • Cathartes
  • C. aura
Birdorable Family Vultures & Condors
Conservation Status Least Concern
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
(as of 16 July 2017)
Units: Imperial Metric
30 inches
72 inches
Range North America Central America Caribbean South America United States (West) United States (East)

International Names

  • Urubu-de-cabeça-vermelha (Brazilian)
  • 红头美洲鹫 (Chinese)
  • Kondor Krocanovitý (Czech)
  • Kalkungrib (Danish)
  • Kalkoengier (Dutch)
  • Kalkkunakondori (Finnish)
  • Urubu à Tête Rouge (French)
  • Truthahngeier (German)
  • Avvoltoio Collorosso (Italian)
  • ヒメコンドル (Himekondoru) (Japanese)
  • Kalkunkondor (Norwegian)
  • Sępnik Różowogłowy (Polish)
  • Гриф-индейка (Russian)
  • Aura Común (Spanish)
  • Kalkongam (Swedish)

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