waiting for something to die (California, USA; 2006-12-31)

Turkey Vulture
Cathartes aura

Native Range: North America and Latin America

Notes: A large black carrion feeder that finds meals by olfaction as well as by sight; frequently observed soaring in lazy circles, its wings held above the horizontal in a shallow 'V'; the bare head serves a hygenic role, because otherwise any feathers would get matted with the messy carrion upon which the bird feeds.

bare red head, yellowish bill (California, USA; 2007-12-04)

hooked bill for ripping carrion (California, USA; 2007-12-04)

taking a sun bath (California, USA; 2007-12-04)

black feathers edged in brown (California, USA; 2007-03-03)

two-tone look in flight; back half of wing light (California, USA; 2009-04-05)

holding a tasty morsel (California, USA; 2007-03-03)

slotted primaries in flight (California, USA; 2007-03-03)