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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)

Whenever I am up on Pkols (Mount Douglas) or other local hills or small local mountains I almost invariably see one or more Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura) riding the thermals while they search for carrion. In addition to their excellent sight they have a highly developed sense of smell to assist them in finding fresh carcasses. These birds are also known as Turkey Buzzards or simply Buzzards. This is a widespread species, various sub-species extending from southern Canada right down to the southern tip South America. They belong to the same family as the fabled Condors. I like this photo because it shows clearly the perforated nostril charactistic of the family. They are called Turkey Vultures not because they prey on turkeys but because of their resemblance to Wild Turkeys.


William Kendall said...

A grand shot!

JoJo said...

Made the mistake of tossing the Thanksgiving turkey carcass under the trees behind my townhouse in CA. Woke up the next day to around 10 turkey buzzards on and under the tree, fighting over the carcass.

Stephanie said...

A great shot!