Turkey vulture

species of New World vulture

The turkey vulture (Cathartes aura), is a bird found throughout most of the Americas. It is also known as the turkey buzzard (or just buzzard), and in some areas of the Caribbean as John crow or carrion crow.

Turkey vulture
Turkey vulture profile.jpg
Scientific classification
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Binomial name
Cathartes aura
(Linnaeus, 1758)
Turkeyvulturerange.jpg
Turkey vulture distribution.

It is one of three species in the genus Cathartes, ranging from southern Canada to the southernmost tip of South America. It lives in open and semi-open areas, including subtropical forests, shrublands, pastures, and deserts.

The turkey vulture got its common name from the resemblance of the adult's bald red head and its dark plumage to that of the male wild turkey. The name "vulture" comes from the Latin word vulturus, meaning "tearer", and is a reference to its feeding habits.