Turkey vulture Cathartes aura


Identification Tips:

Adult:

Immature:

Similar species:

The Black Vulture is also dark with an unfeathered head, but has a much differet shape in flight. It is short-winged, short-tailed, and intersperses glides on flat wings with quick, snappy wingbeats. Turkey Vultures lack the white patch at the wingtips and show contrast between paler flight feathers and darker coverts. Bald and Golden eagles are both superficially similar, but fly on flat wings, have feathered heads, and do not have contrastingly gray flight feathers. The Zone-tailed Hawk in the Southwest has a similar shape and flight style, but has a feathered head and white bands on a black tail.

Length and wingspan from: Robbins, C.S., Bruun, B., Zim, H.S., (1966). Birds of North America. New York: Western Publishing Company, Inc.


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