Turkey Vultures

December 13, 2023

Turkey Vulture sunning itself.Turkey Vulture, coastal North CarolinaTurkey Vulture with wings stretched in the morning sun.

Vultures, both turkey and black, are a common sight year round in North Carolina.  They're usually seen soaring, standing along a road or in a field, or perched high in the top of a tree or on a structure. And it is not uncommon to see them perched high in a tree with their wings stretched, like the Turkey Vulture in the photo.

I encountered this individual with about ten others, each sunning themselves in the morning sun.  This is a common behavior.  They do it to dry their feathers and warm their bodies to give them a boost of energy.  One author described it as an extra cup of coffee in the morning.  It has been reported that this behavior may cleanse themselves of ectoparasites, but this has been refuted in some scientific publications.  


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