Field Notes: Turkey Vultures
Average Adult Weight: 6lbs.
Adult Wingspan: Approx. 6 feet
Scientific Name: Cathartes aura
Eating Habits: Omnivore, will eat both carrion and plants
Nesting: On the Ground (digging an indentation), Caves and or Barnes
I enjoy the unusual beauty of Turkey Vultures! From the top of their featherless red heads to their strong talon they are a fascinating combination of awkwardness and grace. Wings spread soaring above the Mountains in Hot Springs National Park alone or in groups they are always a welcome sight. When I began hiking in Arkansas I would often see them flying high above me as I traveled across Hot Springs Mountain.
Surprisingly my first “close encounter” was within the confines of the Trees along the Hot springs Mountain Trail. February 25, 2010 New Feathered Friends Turkey Vultures on the Hot Springs Trails “I am starting today’s post not from the beginning as I would do normally. Instead I am Introducing you to two new friends I met while hiking today, a pair of Turkey Vultures. It is the second time I have seen them in the same area perching and on the ground. They nest on the ground and I might have stumbled upon their…” It was remarkable, the obstacles they needed to navigate for landing and taking off seemed too close to allow their wings to fully extend. It was a rare chance to see a Turkey Vulture pair together within the Trees of Hot Springs Mountain.
My next extended encounter came on November 15, 2010 while I was hiking the Sunset Trail on Music Mountain. Beautiful Birds of West and Music Mountains “I have discovered why the Turkey Vultures frequently soar above West and Music Mountains. When I first hiked on the Sunset Trail to Music Mountain the foliage was so thick I did not take the upper trail. Today the the trail was nearly clear and I headed up Music Mountain to the cell towers…” It is a blessing to have my new camera as I am able to capture the details of their feathers and the beauty of flight.
I hope you will enjoy the beauty of these birds.