Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)
This bird lost most of a wing in an accident. The University of Missouri School of Veterinary Medicine's Raptor Rehab Project saved the bird and included it in its traveling educational program. (photo from 6/5/05)
The Turkey Vulture feeds primarily on a wide variety of carrion, from small mammals to large grazers, preferring those recently dead, and avoiding carcasses that have reached the point of putrefaction. It may rarely feed on plant matter, shoreline vegetation, pumpkin and other crops, live insects and other invertebrates. It rarely, if ever, kills prey itself. The Turkey Vulture can often be seen along roadsides feeding on roadkill, or near bodies of water, feeding on washed-up fish. It also will feed on fish or insects which have become stranded in shallow water. Like other vultures, it plays an important role in the ecosystem by disposing of carrion which would otherwise be a breeding ground for disease. (Wikipedia)
This post made in conjunction with International Vulture Awareness Day. Please see vulture-related posts on other blogs.
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