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Turkey Vultures

turkey Vulture.webp
 

Our Turkey Vulture Solutions

 

Based on our inspection, we will determine exactly what bird control method will rid you of your vulture problem and implement it quickly and efficiently. We use many different methods of bird control so that we can ensure you are getting exactly the type of control you need. Select the options below if you are interested in learning more about the control methods we use.

Turkey Vulture Control Professionals

 

There are a few methods that work well for turkey vulture control. One of our general recommendations is bird netting. If you can net off an area, it will exclude birds with a 100% effectiveness rate. Bird netting is a long-term solution, will last 20+ years, and will remain steady in all weather situations. For this reason, we recommend it as a best practice if it is feasible to implement.

Tension grid wire also works well for vulture control. Grid wire, like ledge modification or electrified track system, works best in deterring birds from perching. It can be placed over surfaces the birds would land and prevent them from staying in the area. Grid wire is a good substitute for bird spikes, which work well for medium-sized birds, but which the larger turkey vultures can still land on.

 

Once the problem of the Turkey Vulture is addressed, repairs begin. Structural damages need to be repaired, and just as importantly, clean-up is required. The droppings from the many Turkey Vultures in the flock, and the size of the bird and its waste will make clean-up difficult and for reasons already mentioned, it could be a health issue. The acidic waste needs to be removed from walkways. The waste needs to be properly cleaned up from buildings that people or other animals inhabit. The strong ammonia smell is both unpleasant and not recommended to inhale. It is safe to say, once this problem has been properly addressed, no one would want to deal with a return visit from these annoying and dangerous creatures.

 

Vultures are protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act in North America. This means it is illegal to harm or kill a vulture or to move or destroy a vulture nest. Vulture deterrents, however, such as bird netting or tension grid wire, is perfectly okay. Contact a bird control company for more information on how to address your vulture problem.

If you've been having a turkey vulture problem of a bigger magnitude, it may be time to call in the experts at a bird control company. AviAway offers free bird control consultations. We will come up with a custom-fitted solution for your specific turkey vulture needs. Click here or call 844-247-3373 to set up a free bird control consultation with the experts at AviAway.

We think about what you need when developing a custom plan for your vulture problem. We take several factors into consideration, inlcuding:

  • How long has the vulture problem been going on?

  • How severe is the vulture problem?

  • Available food and water sources nearby?

  • How much will it cost to resolve the bird problem?

  • What type of damage are the birds causing?

  • Are there any liability issues due to the bird infestation? 

 

About Turkey Vultures

Turkey vultures are a species of vulture native to the Americas. They roam from southern Canada to the southernmost tip of South America. Turkey vultures are scavengers and feed on dead animals and carcasses.

Because vultures feed on dead animals, they are sometimes mistaken as a threat to humans and livestock. In fact, vultures assist with cleaning up the environment by scavenging on carrion. Without vultures to clean up carcasses, diseases may spread to other animals that contact the dead animal before decomposing enough to be no longer harmful.

Taxonomy

Order: 

Family:

Genus: 

Species: 

Common Names:

Accipitriformes

Cathartidae

Cathartes

C. aura

Turkey Vultures,

Turkey Buzzards, Carrion Crow

 

There are 23 vulture species worldwide, ranging in size from the 10-foot wingspan Andean condor to the turkey vulture's 6-foot wingspan. Like hawks and eagles, vultures are members of the bird order Accipitriformes (diurnal raptors). There are three families of vultures: the Old World vultures, which live in Europe, Asia, and Africa; the New World vultures, which live in the Americas; and the Australian vultures. The vulture family Cathartidae is divided into two genera: Gymnogyps, the California condor, and the smaller vultures in the genus Cathartes, which includes seven species. The vultures are united by their featherless heads (probably an adaptation for hygiene) and their good vision. Vultures have keen eyesight, so they can spot carrion from above long before other scavengers arrive on the scene. Turkey vultures also have strong stomach acids and digestive juices to eat rotting meat.

Evolutionary Traits

 

Turkey vultures are about 2 to 3 feet tall with a 6-foot wingspan and weigh between 3 and 5 pounds. They have long, broad wings, rounded heads, and featherless necks. Vultures have dark brown feathers on their backs and light brown feathers on their bellies. They have red heads, and their eyes are grey-brown.

Turkey Vulture

 

Vultures have several adaptations that allow them to feed on dead animals. Their featherless heads and necks are hygienic, as the feathers can become soiled with blood and gore. Their strong stomach acids and digestive juices allow them to eat rotting meat without getting sick. And their keen eyesight will enable them to spot carrion from above long before other scavengers arrive.

Diet

 

Vultures are scavengers and feed primarily on dead animals and carrion. They often fly low to the ground in search of food and spot carrion from a great height. Vultures are also known to eat garbage and other human-generated waste. They tend to eat only fresh meat that's been dead for 12-24 hours and will avoid rotting or diseased animals.

Behavioral Traits

 

Turkey vultures are scavengers and feed primarily on dead animals and carrion. They often fly low to the ground, searching for food and spot carrion from a great height. Vultures often follow predators such as lions and hyenas to scavenge their prey.

Turkey vultures are rarely aggressive towards humans. If approached, vultures may spread their wings and hiss as a form of defense. However, vultures pose no real threat to humans.

 

Life Cycle

Reproduction

 

Turkey vultures mate for life, and both parents help care for the vulture's nestlings. The female vulture typically lays 2 or 3 eggs in a stick nest, and the vultures will take turns incubating the eggs for about 35 days. When they emerge from their shells, vulture chicks are covered in down feathers. They're brooded by their parents for about nine weeks and will fledge (leave the nest) at around ten weeks.

Nesting Behavior

 

Turkey vultures live in open areas, including meadows, forests, grasslands, and swamps. They usually nest on cliffs or high in trees. Preferred roosting sites include dead palms and cacti along the California coast, ledges of buildings on the Great Plains, and the tops of pine trees in the southern Appalachian Mountains.

Nesting Material

 

Turkey Vultures do not build nests in which to lay their eggs. They will lay their eggs (normally two at a time) directly on the ground, in hollow logs, on rooftops and even in deserted buildings. The young have to be fed and cared for by the mother Turkey Vulture. She feeds her young by regurgitation. The female vulture incubates her eggs for about four weeks, and the chicks stay with the mother for about two months. Turkey vultures tend to return to the same nesting site year after year.

Egg Description

ruler in centimeters
Turkey Vulture Egg
Turkey Vulture Egg Gradient

 

Size: 

Color: 

 

Incubation: 

Brood Size: 

Frequency:

 

6.5 - 7.5 centimeters

Creamy, and specked brown

28 - 40 days

1 - 3 eggs

Once per year

Maturity & Lifespan

 

Turkey vultures can live up to 24 years, but on average, tend to live to be about 20 years old. Some have lived to 30 in captivity. Some turkey vultures die young. While turkey vultures have few natural predators, if a predator is going to eat a turkey vulture, it is often going to be when the bird is still an infant in the nest.

 

Turkey Vulture Distribution in North America

Turkey Vultures in US

Vultures are still threatened by habitat loss and degradation. They require open areas for foraging and creating vulture pits, or they must travel longer distances to find food. Certain vulture species also rely on specific habitats such as mountain tops, cliffs, and tall trees in which to make their nests.

The vulture population is estimated at 50,000 individuals but is declining due in part to habitat loss and vulture poisoning. Vulture poisonings primarily come from vultures eating the carcasses of animals that have been intentionally killed by humans such as rodents, but vultures may also die from eating toxic prey such as vipers and vulture pests such as feral dogs and crows.

Breeding

Year Round 

 

The Trouble With Turkey Vultures

Bird Droppings

 

These large birds roost on buildings and near roadways where they watch for road kill to eat. Not only do these birds cause major structural damage, but they also can destroy caulking and roofing materials as well as many other resources. These massive creatures have a huge appetite and drop huge amounts of waste products. The droppings are acidic in nature, destroying surfaces on which it lands. Turkey Vulture droppings will ruin the paint on an automobile very quickly. The nasty substance presents a slip and fall risk when it is deposited on walkways. It has a strong ammonia odor that could cause a health problem if inhaled.

 

However, that is not the worse health concern. The droppings are classified as sterile due to their acidic properties, but studies show the Turkey Vulture carries potentially pathogenic bacteria in the digestive system, which can produce some dangerous bacterial diseases that can be deposited with the waste of the birds. These bacterial concerns include E-coli, Salmonella, and a host of other diseases harmful, even deadly to humans. Spreading the bacteria with droppings around feeding areas for other livestock can spread diseases to other animals. Research is being conducted to see just how extensive this problem is with concerns to other animals, but enough has been discovered to advise extreme caution.

Other Damages

 

Turkey Vultures prey on new born livestock, costing thousands of dollars annually and the numbers are steadily climbing. The wreak havoc in airport areas, posing a danger to travelers and those who live near the areas. The FAA reports since 1990, there have been at least 350 collisions with Turkey Vultures and civil aircrafts.

Turkey Vultures cause power outages by their interaction with electrical towers and wires. They roost in communication towers, knocking out service to television stations and cell phone services.

As you probably assumed by now, a Turkey Vulture problem is a big problem. The size of the birds, and the potential of harmful effects they can produce to the human body, makes this a problem one would not want to attempt on his own. When it comes to the massive Turkey Vulture, it is best to use a professional. There are methods that are tried and true. With knowledge of the systems that work, and the skill in execution of these methods, the Turkey Vulture problems can be solved. An expert needs to evaluate the situation. They can then determine which issues are already a problem and which should be stopped before it gets to that point. They have to take into account the size of the bird flock, the roosting areas, where damages have already occurred. They must consider the area and the human population of the location. When the data has been collected, they can discuss the options available to the affected property owners. It often is not enough to control the immediate problem. Sometimes steps need to be taken to deter the Turkey Vulture from taking up residence in a particular location in the future.