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Turkey Vulture Or Condor?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

We live by the ocean around San Francisco, and I was walking my dog along the beach cliffs when I spotted something below on the beach. It was a large black bird with a bald head, and it was eating a seagull. (ewww.. ) And this thing was HUGE! It's body was way bigger than my dog (tall Jack Russell Terrier) and it's wingspand was quite large, too. And it seemed fat, but that may have just been the feathers. At first I thought, "Is that a turkey?" I found it fasinating, and was even more amazed when it flew up over the cliff and right above my head, looking at me with shiny eyes. After watching this large creature for awhile, I narrowed it down to Turkey Vulture or Condor. I doubt it is a Condor, those are endangered, but I wish it was because that would be cool.
Anyone have any problems with these particular birds? Would they take a chicken? I guess if it can take down a wily seagull it could take one of my beloved Silkies.... And, I'm just curious, but what do you think; Turkey Vulture or Condor? Unfortunatly, I didn't have my camera, but he was black with a bald head, and under his wingfeathers were silvery white. And would they take a chicken? 


Mama to-
    2 Rhode Island Reds, 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte, 1 Blue Silkie, 1 White Silkie, 1 Brown Red Modern Game banty , 1 Black Modern Game banty, 1 Black Sumatra, 1 Golden Campine, 1 Bearded Buff Laced Polish, 1 Silver Birchen OEG banty,
1 Quarter Horse Paint, 1 Black Maine Coon cat, 1 Seal point Ragdoll, 1 American Brown Tabby Shorthair, 1 Jack Russell Terrier, and several Comet Goldfish.


Edited by Campine Lover - 3/10/10 at 10:01pm
Life without a horse is a life unlived.
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Life without a horse is a life unlived.
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post #2 of 7

try looking for pictures of them both online and compare them to what you saw? with it's bald head I would guess a vulture and from what I understand about those is that they eat dead things.


Edited by Bring - 3/10/10 at 10:07pm
Wife, mother of 3 boys, animal lover.  3 cockerels, 2 hens, five ducks, two dogs, 2 goats.
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Wife, mother of 3 boys, animal lover.  3 cockerels, 2 hens, five ducks, two dogs, 2 goats.
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post #3 of 7

Sounds like a Turkey Vulture. They are scary looking! Last fall I came out the front door of my house to walk my dog, and one was standing on the front porch. When he saw me he put his wings out and up a little. My dog, who is a Doberman, took one look at it and turned around and ran back into the house. I thought that was a good idea!!! I was scared to come out all day! lol. I keep peeking out the window thinking, "What if it is on the roof waiting for me??" lol. Also, from what I know like Bring said, they are carrion eaters.

post #4 of 7

Yes, most likely a vulture; condors haven't been released in No.Cal.  We have many vultures where we live (a nice valley with good thermals for them to ride).  They've never caused any problem with the chickens; they eat things that are already dead, so they won't be carrying off your hens, although they certainly would be large enough to do so.  I know most people think I'm odd, but I love vultures - they're certainly not much to look at, but the way they effortlessly ride the thermals is, to me, beautiful.
Liz

post #5 of 7

Vulture. And no worries, they will only take your chickens if they were laid out dead.
They never kill to eat.
And, the more dead it is, the better sickbyc

post #6 of 7

It is possible you saw a condor but more likely it was a turkey vulture.

See the link for information on California Condors.

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/nongame/t_e_spp/condor/

And some general information from wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Condor


Both birds are scavengers.

You might not be able to keep a bird from landing on your head but you can keep it from building a nest.

"My doctor says that I have a malformed public-duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fiber, and that I am therefore excused from saving Universes."
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You might not be able to keep a bird from landing on your head but you can keep it from building a nest.

"My doctor says that I have a malformed public-duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fiber, and that I am therefore excused from saving Universes."
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post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks, and after researching a little more it was, yes, a turkey vulture. Hallalooya, because Condors can be HUGE when they get big. (wipes brow)   It makes sense now about the scavenging thing, many seagulls have been washing up onshore beacuse of those stupid polluting oiltankers! Grrrrr......
    Anyway thanks for responding. I can now release my chickens from the chicken tractor thingy (which they DESPISE!) and let them free range again. They shall be happy..... smile

Life without a horse is a life unlived.
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Life without a horse is a life unlived.
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