Turkey Vulture

Cathartes aura
Stan, the Turkey Vulture
Did you know?: 

Turkey vultures are closely related to Storks and are not considered raptors.

At the EcoTarium

Our Turkey Vulture, Stanlie, lives in the bird house which is currently closed to visitors. Stanlie has a permanent wing injury and cannot fly.

About Turkey Vultures

Native to South America and most of North America, the Turkey Vulture can live in a variety of habitats, including forests, grasslands, deserts, and mountains. It was named for its resemblance to the wild turkey, with its dark brown or black body and red head. Turkey Vultures have bald heads, which helps keep parasites in check.

Like other vultures, the Turkey Vulture feeds on carrion (dead animals) and rarely hunts. They are solitary creatures, and can soar great distances alone in search of food. Most birds have a poor sense of smell, but Turkey Vultures primarily use smell to find food. In fact, they’re so good at smelling potential food that other species of vultures often follow them around.