Gaston's White River Resort Nature Trails
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)


Nature Trails Gaston's White River Resort


Manford's Gallery Of Photos
&
Jerry Wilcoxen's Gallery Of Photos


A Five Paw Rated Site


Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)


Turkey Vulture Gaston's White River Resort


For over forty years I never paid attention to Vultures.  They were simply a big ugly bird to me.  While walking along Bull Shoals Dam with my camera recently, I got to see Vultures up close and took a few photos.  After reviewing the photos, I was shocked at how beautiful they are.  In my view, they are the masters of flight.

Turkey Vulture Gaston's White River Resort
I have found that the river side of Bull Shoals Dam
is an excellent site to view and photograph Vultures.


Click On Any Photo For A Larger View

 

Turkey Vulture Gaston's White River Resort

Turkey Vulture Gaston's White River Resort

Turkey Vulture Gaston's White River Resort

Turkey Vulture Gaston's White River Resort

Turkey Vulture Gaston's White River Resort

Turkey Vulture Gaston's White River Resort

Turkey Vulture Gaston's White River Resort

Turkey Vulture Gaston's White River Resort

Turkey Vulture Gaston's White River Resort

Turkey Vulture Gaston's White River Resort

Turkey Vulture Gaston's White River Resort

Turkey Vulture Gaston's White River Resort

Turkey Vulture Gaston's White River Resort

Turkey Vulture Gaston's White River Resort

Turkey Vulture Gaston's White River Resort

Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture Gaston's White River Resort

Turkey Vulture Gaston's White River Resort

Turkey Vulture Gaston's White River Resort

Turkey Vulture Gaston's White River Resort

Turkey Vulture Gaston's White River Resort

Jerry Wilcoxen's Gallery Of Photos
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)

Turkey Vulture Gaston's White River Resort

Turkey Vulture Gaston's White River Resort

Turkey Vulture Gaston's White River Resort

Turkey Vulture Gaston's White River Resort

Turkey Vulture Gaston's White River Resort

Turkey Vulture Gaston's White River Resort

Turkey Vulture Gaston's White River Resort

Turkey Vulture Gaston's White River Resort

Turkey Vulture Gaston's White River Resort

Turkey Vulture Gaston's White River Resort

Turkey Vulture Gaston's White River Resort

Turkey Vulture Gaston's White River Resort

Identification Tips:

Adult:

Immature:

Vultures are gross and clean at the same time. They gobble up road kill and can hurl the ingested remains at a potential attacker, leaving a horrible odor. On the other hand, they gracefully soar for hours at a time on rising air currents without flapping a wing. The scientific name for turkey vulture, Cathartes aura, means "cleansing breeze."

Vultures release urine down their legs to clean off bacteria. They help keep the countryside clean of rotting animals. Their heads are featherless so they can thrust them into the gut of a carcass without leaving a nasty mess on their feathers. Bacteria die on their faces. They spend many hours preening their feathers for a shine fit for a shampoo commercial.

Similar species:

The Black Vulture is also dark with an unfeathered head, but has a much different 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.



Copyright Jim Gaston 11.7.07