Turkey vulture

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by robyn1976, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. robyn1976

    robyn1976 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 31, 2011
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    Yesterday we had 8 turkey vultures swarming our back yard where the chickens and turkeys were! We went outside and they left after about 10 mins! My question is will they kill my birds???
     
  2. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Turkey Vulture Quick Facts

    + Turkey vultures are non-aggressive, and generally do NOT kill. They will not hurt your pets or children. (There are a small number of accounts of turkey vultures killing live prey, but such instances are rare and involve extremely weak or helpless animals, like baby rats, grouse chicks, or small fish.)

    + The turkey vulture has a highly developed sense of smell, a rare ability among birds. In one study in the tropics by David Houston, turkey vultures quickly found (usually within a day) many chicken carcasses placed under the forest canopy, and some of these were even hidden from view with dried leaves. Also, turkey vultures have been seen to dig up and feed on woodchucks killed and buried by farm equipment.

    + Vultures prefer to eat fairly fresh meat. They will turn their nose up at rotten meat if there is a fresher alternative available. They also prefer the meat of herbivorous animals, avoiding that of dogs and other carnivores.

    Diet/Feeding:

    Extremely unaggressive and non-confrontational, the turkey vulture has only rarely been documented to feed on still-living prey, an occasional habit of its more aggressive cousin, the black vulture. Known instances of turkey vultures preying on live animals involved trapped, extremely weak, or helpless prey, such as ruffed grouse chicks and trapped or anesthetized birds. Turkey Vulture Society officer Brandon M. Breen has seen turkey vultures in the Falkland Islands feed on wild goose eggs as well as birthing sheep that were too weak to stand up. Such predatory behavior is believed to be exceedingly rare in this species, and live animals that are mobile (e.g., pet dogs) are not believed to face any risk.

    Turkey Vultures can often be seen along roadsides, cleaning up roadkill, or near rivers, feasting on washed-up fish.​
     
  3. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Interesting info that I never thought to look up... thank you kuntrygirl! Kind of explains why the vultures at the folks place will eat groundhogs but not raccoons.
     
  4. robyn1976

    robyn1976 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 31, 2011
    Doylestown
    thank you so much! I really had no clue!!!
     
  5. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    You're welcome. I enjoyed reading about them.
     
  6. Hot2Pot

    Hot2Pot Fox Hollow Rabbitry

    Feb 1, 2010
    West TN
    But black vultures WILL kill and eat chickens! I lost two pullets to them in my barnyard!
     

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