turkey vulture (Cathartes aura)
CONFIRMATION STATUS: Confirmed.
Length: 25 inches Wingspan: 72 inches
Very large, broad-winged, soaring bird
Long and rounded tail
Longish, hooked bill
Rather short, thick legs
Holds wings in a dihedral angle while soaring and gliding
Spends most time soaring, infrequent flaps are slow and laborious
small, unfeathered head
Plumage dark brown except for paler flight feathers, appearing black and gray
Immature like adult
The black vulture is also dark with an unfeathered head, but has a much
differet shape in flight. It is short-winged, short-tailed, and intersperses
glides on flat wings with quick, snappy wingbeats. Turkey vultures lack
the white patch at the wingtips and show contrast between paler flight
feathers and darker coverts. Bald and golden eagles are both superficially
similar, but fly on flat wings, have feathered heads, and do not have
contrastingly gray flight feathers. The zone-tailed hawk in the Southwest
has a similar shape and flight style, but has a feathered head and white
bands on a black tail.
Migration Status: Short distance migrant
Breeding Habitat: N/A
Nest Location: N/A
Nest Type: N/A
Clutch Size: 2
Length of Incubation: 38-41 days
Days to Fledge: 66-88
Number of Broods: 1
Diet: primarily carrion
SKY MEADOWS DISTRIBUTION/SEASONAL OCCURRENCE
Relative abundance and seasonal occurrence are indicated in red below.
C - Common: Likely to be present in good numbers in appropriate habitat and season.
U - Uncommon: May be present in appropriate habitat and season, often in low
O - Occassional: Found in appropriate habitat perhaps only a few times per season,
sometimes low numbers.
R - Rare: May not be recorded every year.
Acc - Accidental: Recorded once or twice, may not be expected again for a long time.
Sp - Spring: March, April, May C
Su - Summer: June, July, August C
Fall: September, October, November C
Winter: December, January, February C
Crooked Run Valley