2014-10-16 / Nature

Turkey Vultures Swoop In

The recent appearance of some 25-30 turkey vultures in the parking lot of Third Beach had a number of beach walkers scratching their heads and trying to identify the large birds. The mixed flock of adults and juveniles had put down to feast on fish parts left behind by local fisherman. The vultures are journeying to wintering grounds across the southern tier of the United States and Mexico.

With a wingspan measuring nearly 6 feet and a body length of 27 inches, the predators soar and glide over the landscape using their keen sense of smell to locate carrion, even when covered by dense woods or underbrush.

Adult birds have a naked red head, with an overall brownish-black plumage, long upswept wings, long tails and a silver sheen to their underwings. Juveniles have a grayish, naked head which turns red with maturity.

After dining on the buffet of fish, parts the vultures departed the area in a southwesterly direction. (Photo by Jack Kelly)

Return to top