Turkey Vulture





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Turkey Vulture Identification:

Turkey vultures are large birds with dark feathers, weighing up to six pounds with a wingspan up to 32 inches long. They have a bald head with reddish skin similar in look to a turkey that enables them to forage in dead carcassess as these birds are scavengers that are particularly fond of carrion. Often seen in flocks of 70 or more birds, turkey vultures love to roost in towers and rooftops. These long-lived birds (about 20 years) are found all across the U.S. in the spring and summer, but the largest flocks inhabit the southern half of the U.S.

Damage Caused by Turkey Vultures:

Turkey Vultures cause problems by attacking rooftops, caulking and other exterior surfaces, causing extensive bird damage to structures. The bird droppings from turkey vultures are large as well, creating extra clean up costs and concern over slip and fall liability from turkey vulture dropping buildup, plus an unclean, dirty company image. The bacteria, fungal agents and parasites found in turkey vulture droppings and nests can carry a host of serious diseases, including histoplasmosis, encephalitis, salmonella, meningitis, toxoplasmosis and more. As an unpleasant bonus, turkey vultures often leave bones and carcasses to feed on around their roosting areas. They are also known to be noisy problem birds, especially in a large group or fighting over food.


Turkey Vulture Control:

All vultures are protected by law under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act so humane vulture control methods must be used to move them. Turkey vultures are heavy, aggressive birds that can destroy most standard bird control products. The most effective bird control methods to get rid of vultures are Bird Shock Flex track or a heavy duty BirdFence configuration . In some instances, heavy duty (.96mm) Gridwire tensioned 8 inches high will protect against turkey vulture problems like roosting on roof parapets or girders and overhead grid wire systems 5 foot on center or wide mesh horizontal bird nets can dissuade vultures from landing in flat, open areas. RaptorWire bird diverter discourages birds from roosting above critical locations on towers, poles, and substation architecture. If Turkey Vultures are a problem in Trees, our Tree Shock System can be run from branch to branch to discourage the birds from roosting there and eliminating the large mess they can create. For large areas the Bird Wailer Bird Deterrent can be programmed to keep Vultures away.

Nesting

Turkey Vultures do not build traditional nests like other birds, simply laying their eggs on the bare floor of a cave or other protected enclosure. Sometimes they even lay their eggs inside rotten trees, trunks, logs, on the ground inside dense shrubbery, or even on the floors of abandoned buildings. After laying the eggs, both adults may roost in the nesting cavity and, if surprised in the nest, may regurgitate decomposing food or play dead.

Breeding

Pairing is usually preceded by a group "dance" where each bird hops towards its neighbor, which then hops towards another. They generally breed between February and June, laying one to three dull-white to cream-white eggs. Eggs are often spotted or blotched with brown. Both sexes usually incubate for 38 to 41 days. Fledglings are fed by regurgitation.

Cycles

Turkey Vultures migrate as far south as South America for the winter, and as far north as Canada for the summer. They are also found in the Bahamas and the West Indies. As indicated above, they may not migrate if the weather is pleasant, and they have an hospitable environment.




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