Everglades Animal Profile: Turkey Vulture

turkey vultureWith Thanksgiving almost here, we thought it was appropriate to do a species profile with the star of Thanksgiving in its name: The Turkey Vulture.  Here are some facts about the turkey vulture who lives in the Everglades.

  • It has a bald, red head.
  • Its underwings have a silver color.
  • While in flight, its wings are in a “V” shape.
  • This type of bird is a scavenger.
  • It feeds mostly on dead animals.
  • It had a black body/feathers over most of its body.
  • They have long wings and tails.
  • They are smaller than an eagle but larger than a red-tailed hawk.
  • They grow to 25-32 inches in length.
  • They weigh around 70 ounces.
  • Their wingspan is around 66 to 70 inches.
  • They are spotted gliding in the air a lot.
  • They roost in larger groups.
  • They are usually found on roadsides, landfills, suburbs, farms, trash dumps, and construction sites.
  • At night or in the cold, they can be found in dead trees, poles, and posts.
  • They can easily be spotted while driving.
  • The oldest turkey vulture recorded was 16 years old and 10 months in Ohio.
  • It has been spotted in Canada all the way down to South America.
  • It only makes grunts or hisses for sounds because unlike other birds the turkey vulture does not have a syrinx, which is a vocal organ birds have.
  • The turkey vulture nests in caves, hollow trees, or thickets.
  • On average, these birds have two offspring per year.
  • This bird has few predators.
  • The turkey vulture is protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.

See the Everglades in an Airboat

You’ll never know what you will see on an airboat tour in the Everglades. You may get a glimpse of a turkey vulture gliding above you. Come down to the Everglades to see this bird and hundreds of other species.

Airboats give you a glimpse of the Everglades like no other. To book an airboat tour, call Captain Mitch’s Airboat Tours at 800-368-0065 or click our Private Everglades Airboat Tours page.