Pairi Daiza Foundation


Turkey Vulture

 Urubu à tête rouge - Pairi Daiza
Bird of Prey

It has the size of a turkey

This raptor is a vulture that lives in virtually all over the Americas. Its plumage is brown, with a red head, without feathers like vultures generally, which enables it to plunge its head into carrion without soiling its feathers. It has the size of a turkey, hence its name.

The Turkey Vulture detects carrion by flying low but especially by means of its sense of smell (which is rare in birds) thus detecting gases from the decomposition of carcasses, even if they are hidden under the forest-canopy. Like all vultures, its stomach neutralises the toxins of the carrion, but it doesn’t eat carcasses that are too decomposed.

It is a remarkable flyer, being able to glide for a long time without beating its wings, thanks to thermals.

The Turkey Vulture doesn’t make nests from twigs but lays its eggs on the ground, in rocky areas or in tree hollows. As a means of defence, the parents vomit their food around the nest, which smells so bad that potential nest- predators flee!

 Urubu à tête rouge - Pairi Daiza
Identity card

A less threatened species

  • Name : Turkey Vulture
  • Latin name : Parabuteo unicinctus
  • Origin : The americas, from Canada to Tierra del Fuego
  • IUCN status : Least concerned
  • Cites : --

Sponsor the Turkey Vultures

Sponsorship amounts are exclusively for the Pairi Daiza Foundation for projects for the conservation and protection of threatened species.

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