Outdoors journal: Migrating turkey vultures

  • Article by: JIM GILBERT
  • Updated: October 13, 2011 - 11:57 PM
It's migrating time for American wigeons, northern pintails, American crows, turkey vultures and many other bird species. Daily counts of more than 700 turkey vultures can be expected over Hawk Ridge in Duluth, and we continue to see them soaring over the Minnesota Valley at Le Sueur and St. Peter.

In summer, turkey vultures are residents and nesters in the forested part of Minnesota's northeastern region and along the St. Croix and lower Mississippi and adjacent river valleys. Their range is from southern Canada, all across the 48 states to South America. In the Bahamas I heard the residents call them "crows," and in Ohio and other areas they are sometimes called "buzzards."

Turkey vultures weigh 4 to 5 pounds, have red skin on their heads and dark body feathers resembling those of a turkey. The 6-foot wingspan is held in a shallow V when soaring. There is a two-toned look to the underwings, black wing linings against gray flight feathers. This apt soarer travels wide circles, tilting from side to side, and sustains itself with only occasional slow flaps of its wings. What they are doing is patrolling the area for food.

Turkey vultures seldom kill their own prey. They are on the lookout for road-killed rabbits, raccoons, skunks, dead fish on river banks or any other carrion such as dead livestock. An old carcass can be a messy meal, but the vulture's unfeathered head is beautifully suited to making the most of such a diet, which is how "nature's cleaner upper" keeps alive.

JIM GILBERT

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

Philadelphia - LP: K. Kendrick 2 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: Z. Wheeler 11
Milwaukee - WP: Y. Gallardo 5 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: D. Price 0
Arizona - WP: W. Miley 5 FINAL
Cincinnati - LP: A. Simon 4
Washington - WP: T. Roark 4 FINAL
Miami - LP: B. Hand 3
Oakland - LP: J. Hammel 1 FINAL
Houston - WP: D. Keuchel 8
Pittsburgh - LP: J. Wilson 5 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: J. Machi 7
LA Angels - LP: G. Richards 3 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: K. Gausman 4
Seattle - LP: F. Hernandez 0 FINAL
Cleveland - WP: C. Kluber 2
Chicago WSox - LP: H. Noesi 2 FINAL
Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer 7
Toronto - WP: M. Buehrle 6 FINAL
Boston - LP: B. Workman 1
Colorado - WP: R. Scahill 6 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: W. Wright 4
NY Yankees - LP: H. Kuroda 2 FINAL
Texas - WP: C. Lewis 3
Minnesota - LP: P. Hughes 2 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: J. Frasor 3
Atlanta - LP: D. Hale 2 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: J. Howell 3
St. Louis - LP: J. Kelly 1 FINAL
San Diego - WP: J. Hahn 12
NY Giants 8/3/14 7:00 PM
Buffalo
Toronto FC 0 FINAL
D.C. 3
Colorado 0 FINAL
New England 3
Vancouver FC 0 FINAL
Chicago 0
Red Bull New York 1 FINAL
Real Salt Lake 1
Winnipeg 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Toronto 8/1/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Brt Columbia 8/1/14 9:00 PM
Calgary
Saskatchewan 8/2/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/7/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Edmonton 8/8/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Hamilton 8/8/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/9/14 6:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close