But if it's soaring with its wings raised in a V and making wobbly circles, it's likely a Turkey Vulture. If you’ve gone looking for raptors on a clear day, your heart has probably leaped at the sight of a large, soaring bird in the distance– perhaps an eagle or osprey. Additional details and steps support the first three steps to tell a Black Vulture from a Turkey Vulture. Since a vulture's digestive juices kill bacteria--which is why vultures don't get sick from eating rotten meat--defecating on their legs might even work as an antiseptic wash. Males and females are similar in size and weight. Turkey Vultures can live up to 20 years in the wild. The turkey vulture, in particular, has a very well-developed sense of smell.

A Turkey Vulture’s digestive juices kill bacteria that is why they do not get sick eating the dead meat. When the urine evaporates, it cools them down; much like perspiration does for humans.

Description of the Turkey Vulture.

Vultures lack the powerful feet that are characteristic of other raptors like eagles and hawks. As scavengers, vultures consume huge quantities of carrion from roads, fields and forests. American vultures, however, including the turkey vulture, black vulture, Andean and California condor, and king vulture, CAN smell. The underwings are two-toned: silvery flight feathers with black wing-linings. Their beaks, however, are powerful enough to rip through the hide of a dead deer or cow. Why do turkey vultures defecate on their feet? The golden eagle has a wingspan ranging from 6 to 7.5 feet and he weighs between 6 and 15 pounds. The tip of the toes extend beyond the tail, but this can be difficult to notice. If you’ve gone looking for raptors on a clear day, your heart has probably leaped at the sight of a large, soaring bird in the distance– perhaps an eagle or osprey. But their flight talents go beyond mere size.

Turkey Vultures can live up to 20 years in the wild. Like many vultures, this species lacks feathers on their heads. They are able to smell carrion up to a mile away. When the urine evaporates, it cools them down; much like perspiration does for humans.

Their wingspans can vary between 5.5 and 6.5 feet (1.6 to 2 m) and they range in weight from 2 to 4.5 pounds (0.9 to 2 kg). Turkey vultures have wing spans up to 6 feet, weights of 3 to 4 pounds. With a wingspan up to six feet across, it’s no wonder their head looks small! The turkey vulture is sometimes accused of carrying anthrax or hog cholera, both livestock diseases, on its feet or bill by cattle ranchers and is therefore occasionally perceived as a threat. These birds ride thermals in the sky and use their keen sense of smell to find fresh carcasses. These birds ride thermals in the sky and use their keen sense of smell to find fresh carcasses. The Turkey Vulture arrives first at the carcass, or with Greater Yellow-headed Vultures or Lesser Yellow-headed Vultures, which also share the ability to smell carrion. Turkey vultures, as with all birds, have no sweat glands. The turkey vulture is smaller than both eagles, weighing only about 5 or 6 pounds with a 6-foot wingspan.

The Turkey Vulture has a dark brown plumage and a slender body. Catching a strong updraft, a turkey vulture can soar for long distances without a single wingbeat. Turkey vultures are not birds of prey, as their feet are weak and useless for grabbing prey. But if it's soaring with its wings raised in a V and making wobbly circles, it's likely a Turkey Vulture. After turkey vulture chicks hatch, the parents drop into the cavity five or six times a day to feed their young, Giusti said. 1. A Turkey Vulture vomits as a method of self-defense. They can project it up to ten feet. But if it's soaring with its wings raised in a V and making wobbly circles, it's likely a Turkey Vulture. Turkey Vulture: A large dark brown to black bird with a featherless red head; reddish feet; underside of wings appear two-toned; wingspan is up to 6 feet (1.8 m); an accomplished soarer.

However, the virus that causes hog cholera is destroyed when it passes through the turkey vulture's digestive tract. One way that they maintain cool body temperatures is by urinating down their legs when they are hot. The feet of a turkey vulture are more like chicken feet than the powerful feet of a hawk or owl.

Turkey vulture, also called Turkey Buzzard, (Cathartes aura), long-winged, long-tailed vulture (family Cathartidae, the New World vultures) that has dark plumage, a whitish beak, white legs, and a bare red head (black in immature birds) that is covered with whitish bumps.Its wingspread is about 1.8 m (6 feet), and its length is about 75 cm (30 inches). Perched, the Black Vulture has black plumage, chunky body, and longer legs. A Turkey Vulture vomits as a method of self-defense. They are able to smell carrion up to a mile away. Turkey Vultures will often place one or both feet on their food when eating; Black Vultures typically do not use their feet when feeding. Juveniles have gray heads while newly hatched birds have black heads. They fly with their wings raised in a V shape. One way that they maintain cool body temperatures is by urinating down their legs when they are hot. The Turkey Vulture has a 5- to 6-foot wingspan and soars with its wings tilted up, in a dihedral pattern. Concentrations of turkey vultures can be found where updrafts allow them to gain elevation with the least effort. turkey vulture track - left foot : Turkey vulture looking for food on the ground : Turkey vulture perched in a tree : Pair of turkey vultures in a Douglas fir tree.