Turkey Vulture, Description, Diet, Habitat, Reproduction, Migration, Conservation, Distribution, and The behavior of the Turkey Vulture - wikipidya/Various Useful Articles

Turkey Vulture, Description, Diet, Habitat, Reproduction, Migration, Conservation, Distribution, and The behavior of the Turkey Vulture

 Turkey Vulture

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Description of the Turkey Vulture

The most common Vulture in the New World is Turkey Vulture. It is a huge, mostly blackish-brown bird. It is most often observed flying overhead. The Turkey Vulture has a 5- to 6-foot wingspan and soars in a dihedral manner with its wings inclined up. When soaring, Turkey Vultures sway back and forth. Silvery flying feathers contrast with black wing linings on the underwings. The undertail is very modest in weight. The heads of juvenile birds are gray, whereas those of freshly hatched chicks are black. The hue of the birds' heads is difficult to notice as they are soaring.

In-flight, the Turkey Vulture is distinguished from other huge, soaring birds by its rocking and dihedral pattern. Adult Turkey Vultures, with their featherless crimson heads, are identifiable when perched.

Diet of the Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vultures are scavengers, consuming almost any carrion they come upon. They enjoy fresh carrion and appear to specialize in tiny food items, particularly when their range overlaps with the dominating Black Vulture, which is not found in Washington. They are unable to open huge corpses.

Turkey’s vultures are both choosy and indifferent. While they will consume a wide range of species, they virtually invariably devour carrion. Carrion is an animal that has perished and is decaying. Vultures, contrary to popular belief, prefer fresher corpses over highly rotted objects.

It is highly uncommon for a vulture to murder its own prey. When looking for food, they will fly low and utilize their keen sense of smell to identify ethyl mercaptan, a gas that is formed early in the decomposition process. They consume grass, coconut, pumpkin, insects, and fruits in rare instances.

Habitat of the Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vultures may be observed in a wide range of settings. They are often situated above open terrain, particularly within a few miles of rocky or forested areas. Nesting places include rocky outcroppings, cliffs, and dry woodlands, while open regions are ideal feeding areas.

This species is exceedingly common and plentiful. As a result, you're likely to find them in a wide variety of habitats and ecosystems, almost wherever they can readily fly within their range.

These birds may be found in grasslands, foothills, deserts, marshes, swamps, subtropical forests, prairies, and shrublands, among other places. They will dwell in wooded settings but prefer to avoid thick foliage. These birds will also visit cities, particularly busy roads with loads of road kill.

Distribution of the Turkey Vulture

These birds are among the most common Vultures in the Americas. People thrive throughout North America, Central America, and South America. Their distribution extends from southern Canada through North and Central America, all the way to Chile. Scientists estimate that there are around 4.5 million creatures in their group.

Reproduction of the Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vultures do create long-term connections, although it is unknown when they initially formed pair bonds and bred. A ritualized show with numerous birds in a circle on the ground bouncing up and down with wings partially spread is part of pair formation. Nests are built in protected regions such as hollow trees or logs, cliffs, caves, dense thickets, abandoned buildings, or any solitary area away from people. 

They make little or no nest and deposit one to three eggs on the ground or at the bottom of the nest. For roughly 28 days, the male and female assist incubate the eggs; both have brood patches.The nestlings are brooded virtually continuously during the first five days after hatching. The male and female take turns brooding the young, enabling one parent to obtain food for the young, which subsequently regurgitates. At around nine or 10 weeks, the young begin to fly. 

The process of fledging is slow and varies according to the area. Birds fledging at lower elevations have the option of performing brief trial flights for a few days before embarking on longer flights. Young birds that hatch in exposed or high nests will often have a longer initial flight since short flights are sometimes too dangerous for them. When the young learn to fly, they usually stay in the nest for another 1 to 3 weeks, taking advantage of the food given by their parents.

The behavior of the Turkey Vulture

While these birds are gregarious, they are normally isolated when looking for food. They are diurnal, which means they spend most of their time active during the day. They sleep in communal roosts at night, and a single roost may hold up to 100 birds. During the day, the group disperses and the birds forage on their own. A lot of birds flock around a single huge corpse while feeding, however, this is not due to a social desire to feast together.

Turkey Vultures, unlike other birds, have an acute sense of smell. They examine the ground as they fly over foraging sites, looking for carrion or scavengers that would indicate the presence of something dead. When they find food, they consume it right away. They normally forage alone, however, they will gather around food sources on occasion. They roost communally in small groups in the Pacific Northwest. Thousands of birds may nest in the same region in the eastern United States.

Migration of the Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vultures are considered migrating birds. Typically, birds that breed north of their wintering areas migrate. In late summer, many birds from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, and farther north congregate near the island's southern point. After congregating at this staging region, huge groups of up to 400 birds fly across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the Olympic Peninsula, then south to California and South America. Their ultimate destiny is unknown. In February, they will return to Washington.

Conservation of the Turkey Vulture

The population status of Turkey Vultures might be difficult to assess. They may fly long distances each day and typically congregate at roost spots. Pesticides and other toxins can accumulate in Turkey Vultures, posing a threat to their population. Other dangers include inadvertent trapping, automobile crashes, electrocution, shooting, and lead consumption from eating shot animals

They used to be hunted in agricultural regions because they were suspected of transmitting livestock illnesses like anthrax and preying on young animals. Much of the persecution has ended now that it is clear that these allegations were unfounded. Turkey Vultures have profited from their versatility in diet and nesting locations, and their population looks to be constant or growing.

Life expectancy of the Turkey Vulture 

10 years in the wild, up to 20 years in captivity.

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