Quantcast
Apr 152012
 

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)

Turkey Vultures Cathartes aura are fascinating and important birds of prey. They purify our world and should be held in high esteem or at least respected by all humans. A keen sense of smell aids these raptors of the dead in finding carrion from miles away.

I am in awe of this magnificent Turkey Vulture, who tried in a few ways to frighten me away. I was able to get within fifty feet and given quite a display.

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)

This princely creature seems amazed at my not being intimidated by his six foot wide expanse of wing. “If my appearing larger does not scare you off . . . perhaps my hiss will!”

Turkey Vultures cannot woo one another by song . . . as many returning birds are doing in the gardens right now . . . they are not equipped with the needed voice box but get along with grunts, hisses and even coughs, to communicate amongst each other and ward off those that tread too close.

In this case the wide open mouth and odd sound are intended for this observer. I am more intrigued.

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)

I find their ivory beaks pretty impressive too . . . all the better to tear flesh. Turkey Vultures have been known to eat some rotting fruit and even manure. The Turkey Vulture Societysite is worth visiting and you can read more about these cleaning machines here and here . . .

Share on social media:

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
Carol Duke

Carol Duke

Carol Duke is an artist and farmer who has worked with the land on a Western Massachusetts hillside for over thirty years. During this time her land has evolved into a diverse wildlife habitat. Carol features the flora and fauna that live and visit her farm on her website and blog http://caroldukeflowers.com As vital wildlife habitats are destroyed daily, Carol hopes to inspire others to garden for wildlife, while becoming activists for wild places the world over. Her nature photography has appeared in magazines, books and newspapers.

Leave a Comment

avatar

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Carol Duke
Guest
Carol Duke
4 years 5 months ago

Thanks Gary. I had never seen one perching either. It was really an awesome encounter. 

Carol Duke
Guest
Carol Duke
4 years 5 months ago

Thank you Ken! For all your help too!! Wow! You have some fabulous shots of this “beautiful” creature. I so agree, but many will not join us in using that word to describe a turkey vulture. 

Carol Duke
Guest
Carol Duke
4 years 5 months ago

Thanks Steven and so true! 

Carol Duke
Guest
Carol Duke
4 years 5 months ago

What amazingly striking creatures! Great capture Juan! Thanks for sharing.

Juan Javierre
Guest
Juan Javierre
4 years 5 months ago

A bit unusual view of a Cathartes from Colombia, at the Santa Marta river mouth, last March
Juan

Steven Scott
Member
4 years 5 months ago

Nice post.  Every creature has it’s place in nature.

Supertrooper
Member
4 years 5 months ago

Carol, an informative and interesting profile on this “beautiful” species. I first came across Turkey Vultures in Puerto Rico in January 2011 – http://bit.ly/IKnvau

Gary Sibio
Guest
Gary Sibio
4 years 5 months ago

Cool. I’ve never seen one sitting in a tree.

wpDiscuz

Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days

  1. POLL: Should Japan’s “research whaling” program be closed down? [1958 Views]
  2. POLL: Should there be a worldwide ban on fur farms? [1772 Views]
  3. POLL: Should buzzards be killed to protect pheasants? [1462 Views]
  4. Gray Squirrels versus Red Squirrels – The Facts [1358 Views]
  5. POLL: Should Norway’s plan to cull its wolves be abandoned? [1244 Views]
  6. Rare desert lions of ‘five musketeers’ fame poisoned [1241 Views]
  7. The biologist terrifying the US Forest Service, timber and forest fire-fighting industries [1199 Views]
  8. POLL: Should Japan’s killing of dolphins and whales be stopped? [959 Views]
  9. POLL: Should the badger cull in the UK be extended? [903 Views]
  10. POLL: Should there be a worldwide ban on the ivory trade? [828 Views]

Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months

  1. White Killer Whale Adult Spotted for First Time in Wild [41861 Views]
  2. POLL: Should there be a worldwide ban on fur farms? [16576 Views]
  3. POLL: Should the annual Canadian seal hunt be banned? [14371 Views]
  4. POLL: Should fur farming be banned in the European Union? [13391 Views]
  5. POLL: Should Congress disband Wildlife “Killing” Services? [11073 Views]
  6. POLL: Should hare coursing be banned in Ireland? [10031 Views]
  7. POLL: Should driven grouse-shooting be banned? [8411 Views]
  8. POLL: Should grouse shooting on highland estates be banned? [8273 Views]
  9. Gray Squirrels versus Red Squirrels – The Facts [8078 Views]
  10. POLL: Should black bears be killed for Royal Guards’ fur caps? [8005 Views]