Turkey Vulture

About the Turkey Vulture
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.

Find cute products & gifts with our Birdorable Turkey Vulture
Turkey Vulture Photos

Details & Statistics

Conservation

The Turkey Vulture is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List and was last assessed in 2012 by BirdLife International. This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

International Names

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