Have you noticed a large bird in the sky that has dark wings with white patches on the underside and wobbles when it flies?
If you have, you’ve caught sight of a Turkey Vulture!
These birds are common throughout North and Central America.1 They like open areas, like open country, woods, and deserts. You won’t find them in heavily wooded areas.2 They stand 25-32 inches tall, with a wingspan of 67-70 inches, and weigh over 4 pounds. Their feathers are dark brown, while their heads are red.3
They’ll choose hollow trees, caves, cliff crevices, and even old buildings as their nest site, even if they don’t build an actual nest as other birds do. The essential thing for these nest sites is that they provide shelter. They will lay their eggs at the bottom of their shelter. When offspring are about 10 weeks old, they’ll fly for the first time.2
Turkey Vultures are scavengers and eat already-dead animals. They prefer larger animals like deer or sheep, but will also take smaller animals, like roadkill on the side of the road.1 They have one advantage over other bird species – they have a good sense of smell, which helps them locate their food.2
These birds are easily recognized when they’re in the air. They don’t fly as smoothly as other birds do. They’ll wobble from side to side in the air. So, if you’re unsure what bird you’re looking at, if it wobbles, it’s a Turkey Vulture!1
Get your hands on a Dissect It! kit!
These kits teach you all about dissection and the anatomy of different animals – without the use of real ones! Each animal is made from a one-of-a-kind gel that gives a realistic feel. Inside you’ll find replicas of the skeleton and organs of the animal you’re dissecting.