Turkey Vulture

Cathartes aura

The Turkey Vulture is the most widespread of the New World vultures. We find them from southern Canada to the southernmost South America. In the northern parts of its range, it is only a summer breeder. These bird’s highly developed olfactory sense enables them to locate concealed carcasses, and other scavengers will often follow them to locate the food source.

Science recognizes five subspecies of Turkey Vulture, two of which breed in North America. These two are the Western Turkey Vulture (C. a. meridionalis or C. a. teter) and the Eastern Turkey Vulture (C. a. septentrionalis).

These great scavengers have entertained me from California to Texas, and from Oregon east across the Great Basin.

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