Turkey Vultures have a distinctive red head and silvery white feathers along the entire underside of their wings. Their cousin, the Black Vulture, is white only on the tips of its wings, has a smaller wingspan and a larger gray head. Both are big, black birds. Because of their size, both are often mistaken at first glance for an eagle or hawk.
Vultures locate carcasses by both sight and an exceptional sense of smell while they are flying. They stay aloft by riding rising warm air and updrafts. Turkey Vultures hold their wings in a slight “V” and tend to teeter from side to side as they circle. The feathers on the tips of their wings spread out like fingers. At night, they roost in trees and tall buildings.
They are permanent residents of the South and Gulf Coast and nest everywhere from bare ground to the hollow of a stump, the edge of a cliff, an outcropping of rocks or an abandoned building. They lay one to three dull, white eggs.