NextAnimal ListPreviousAnimal Profiles
Turkey Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Bird. 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.
Scientific Name Lifespan
Cathartes aura 20-24 years
Carnivore. Mainly carnivorous, the turkey vulture is a scavenger who will eat rodents, rabbits, other small mammals, birds, reptiles, insects and some vegetation.
Predators and Threats
Raccoons, opossums, foxes, coyotes, and dogs.
Forested areas; North, Central and South America.