The most widespread vulture in North America, the turkey vulture is locally called “buzzard” in many areas. A turkey vulture standing on the ground can, at a distance, resemble a wild turkey. It is unique among our vultures in that it finds carrion by smell as well as by sight. When threatened, it defends itself by vomiting powerful stomach acids. Polytypic (4 ssp.). Length 27"; wingspan 69".
Overall, it is black with brownish tones, especially on the feather edges. Legs are dark to pinkish in color, the head unfeathered. Adult: the red skin color of the head contrasts with the ivory bill and dark feather ruff on the neck. Juvenile: the skin of the head is dark, the bill dark with