Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)

The Turkey Vulture is second in size to the King Vulture, which is the largest vulture in Costa Rica. While not necessarily a beautiful bird, it has an amazing sense of smell, which lets it identify dead animals from high up in the sky.  Normally, the Black Vulture will wait until the Turkey Vulture identifies the meals and then flock where the Turkeys are located. The most striking difference between the Black and the Turkey Vulture is its red head, which sets them apart when perched or on the ground. On flight, the Turkey Vulture shows a two-tone wing, with the feathers closer to the arm being darker than the ones furthest. Also when riding up through thermal currents, the Turkey Vulture holds the wings at an angle higher than the horizontal.

Turkey Vulture - Cathartes aura - Zopilote Cabecirojo

In terms of senses, the Turkey Vulture is well known for having the best smelling ability of Costa Rica’s Vultures. Other vultures wait for the Turkey to gather around prey.


2 thoughts on “Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)

  1. Pingback: Swainson’s Hawk (Buteo swainsoni) | The Nature Admirer

  2. Pingback: Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus) | The Nature Admirer

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