This piece has been featured in the FAA Group "Nature from Around the World".
The Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura), also known in some North American regions as the turkey buzzard (or just buzzard), and in some areas of the Caribbean as the John crow or carrion crow, is the most widespread of the New World vultures. One of three species in the genus Cathartes, in the family Cathartidae, the Turkey Vulture ranges from southern Canada to the southernmost tip of South America. It inhabits a variety of open and semi-open areas, including subtropical forests, shrublands, pastures, and deserts.
It, like all New World vultures, is not related to the Old World vultures of Europe, Africa, and Asia. It looks nearly identical because of convergent evolution, where natural selection similarly shapes unrelated animals adapting to the same conditions.
The Turkey Vulture is a scavenger and feeds almost exclusively on carrion. It finds its food using its keen eyes and sense of smell, flying low enough...