Turkey Vulture

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.

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Details & Statistics

Added to Birdorable
Hatched on 05 December 2007
Scientific Name
Cathartes aura
  • Ciconiiformes
  • Cathartidae
  • Cathartes
  • C. aura
Birdorable Family
Conservation Status
Least Concern (as of 16 November 2017)
LC
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
Measurements
Units: Imperial / Metric
30 inches
72 inches

Range

International Names

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