Turkey Vulture

Cathartes aura




New World Vultures (Cathartidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Creamy white, often with brown markings

Number of Eggs:

1 - 3

Incubation Days:

38 - 41

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

Bare floors of caves, hollow trees, empty buildings, and cliffs.

Nest Material:

No material added to nest.





Turkey Vulture: Medium-sized vulture, mostly black with red, featherless head and upper neck. Wings are held in a shallow V in flight. Sexes are similar.

Range and Habitat

Turkey Vulture: Breeds from southern British Columbia, central Saskatchewan, the Great Lakes, and Maine southward. Spends winters in the Southwest and eastern U.S. northward to southern New England. Ranges have expanded northward. Preferred habitats include deciduous forests, woodlands, and scrublands; often seen over adjacent farmlands.

Breeding and Nesting

Turkey Vulture: One to three creamy white eggs, often marked with brown, are laid in a rock crevice, hollow tree, or fallen hollow log, with no nest materials added. Incubation ranges from 38 to 41 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Turkey Vulture: Feeds on carrion; forages by soaring, finding animal carcasses by sight or smell.


Turkey Vulture: Usually silent, but may hiss or grunt.

Similar Species

Turkey Vulture: Black Vulture is smaller with dark head and gray wingtips.

Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X