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Pictures of Turkey Vultures

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

Just wanted to post these pictures of the Vultures we have here in CT. Finally got some close enough to see the red head! I believe they are called Turkey Vultures. They have never gone after my chickens. When it is very windy they do fly lower and some of the chickens get a little nervous.....but nobody runs to hide. We have a group of three that hang out together. I have seen them go after red tailed hawks in their territory. I would be interested to know if anyone has had birds like this that do go after their chickens.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/72121_turkeyvulture1.jpg

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/72121_turkeyvulture2.jpg

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/72121_turkeyvulture3.jpg

post #2 of 28

I assumed they eat primarily dead animals. I often see them on road kill.

Happiness isn't having everything you want.....It's wanting everything you have.
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Happiness isn't having everything you want.....It's wanting everything you have.
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post #3 of 28

Yea I thought they only eat already dead animals? Do they attack live chickens!????

Hi I'm mom to 2 Kids, 2 Dogs, 2 Parakeets, 2 Fish, 1 Moluccan Cockatoo, 1 Bunny and 6 Buff Orpington Chickens!!!
I LoVe My ChIcKeNs!!! and everything else of course   
When love is not madness, it is not love.  ~Pedro Calderon de la Barca
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Hi I'm mom to 2 Kids, 2 Dogs, 2 Parakeets, 2 Fish, 1 Moluccan Cockatoo, 1 Bunny and 6 Buff Orpington Chickens!!!
I LoVe My ChIcKeNs!!! and everything else of course   
When love is not madness, it is not love.  ~Pedro Calderon de la Barca
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post #4 of 28

I see them everyday.  They fly pretty close over my backyard.  Kinda scary, but they haven't bothered my chickens.hide

1 Rhode Island Red Foxy Loxy, I New Hamphire Red (Peeps).  Rest in peace my Henny Penny.  You will never be forgotten.  1 outside kitty (Ivy) and 3 very grown children.

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1 Rhode Island Red Foxy Loxy, I New Hamphire Red (Peeps).  Rest in peace my Henny Penny.  You will never be forgotten.  1 outside kitty (Ivy) and 3 very grown children.

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post #5 of 28

As the guy who ran the raptor's seminar, no turkey vultures do not attack chickens, but they will eat DEAD animals. Takes too much effort for them to hunt. They do not have the talons to make their kill nor the streamlined body and flight feathers to make their stealth killings.

BYC Member since 4/11/2002 
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BYC Member since 4/11/2002 
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post #6 of 28

Though I am sure that someone will say otherwise to prove me wrong, I have never heard of a turkey vulture attacking or harassing a healthy adult chicken. They are primarily scavengers and they lack the wicked killing talons and foot strength of other raptors (hawks, eagles, falcons, etc).

It is my opinion that turkey vultures are always beneficial to have around, rather than harmful. I welcome seeing them!

post #7 of 28

It is highly unlikely they will go after your birds. I saw 2 black vultures in front of the very busy road we live on a few weeks back. It was so cool, they were eating a dead squirrel. Here is a pic

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/24731_p5220253.jpg

post #8 of 28

no they like their food dead and rotting. We have tons of them and you can tell the turkey vultures by the wings almost looking like fingers...very seperated. Coll birds. Great pics!

post #9 of 28

Vultures are uniquely adapted to the niche they hold in nature.  Their feet do not possess the strength that raptors have so they can't kill anything.  Their heads and necks have evolved to not having feathers for higienic reasons.  Offal does stick to their skin like it would feathers and what little does is washed off with the first rain.  Their feathers lack oils so the wash off very easy.  Lacking oil they feather become very wet and they will have difficulty flying.  that's why you will see vultures roosting with their wings splayed out to speed drying. 
They will often gorge themselves to the point of not being able to fly and will regurgitate until they return to takeoff weight.  This ability also provides their primary defense method, projectile vomit.  Take pictures but don't get too close.  gig

When having problems with chickens stop and think, what would Harlan do?
I've dealt with many thorns in my life and the flower is always worth the effort.

6 Nest rollout nest box plans  http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/287684/new-rollout-nest-design-picture-heavy-edited-1-21

Smoker plans http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/721017/opas-recirculating-smoker

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When having problems with chickens stop and think, what would Harlan do?
I've dealt with many thorns in my life and the flower is always worth the effort.

6 Nest rollout nest box plans  http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/287684/new-rollout-nest-design-picture-heavy-edited-1-21

Smoker plans http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/721017/opas-recirculating-smoker

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post #10 of 28

oooh, thanks for the info Opa. Might explain why I saw them take off right before the heavy thunderstorm rolled in, prior to that, they were on my neighbor's roof sitting in the drizzle. Didn't know about the projectile vomit, I would have kept a larger distance between us. wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by Opa 

Vultures are uniquely adapted to the niche they hold in nature.  Their feet do not possess the strength that raptors have so they can't kill anything.  Their heads and necks have evolved to not having feathers for higienic reasons.  Offal does stick to their skin like it would feathers and what little does is washed off with the first rain.  Their feathers lack oils so the wash off very easy.  Lacking oil they feather become very wet and they will have difficulty flying.  that's why you will see vultures roosting with their wings splayed out to speed drying. 
They will often gorge themselves to the point of not being able to fly and will regurgitate until they return to takeoff weight.  This ability also provides their primary defense method, projectile vomit.  Take pictures but don't get too close.  gig


Edited by goldeneggtees - 6/7/11 at 8:27am
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