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Turkey vultures

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Turkey vultures and the circle of life

Soaring high overhead, riding spirals of warm air, that broad-winged bird may be an eagle, or a hawk. But if its wings are raised in a ‘V’ shape, and it wobbles from side to side as it circles, and it's sniffing out roadkill, it’s definitely a turkey vulture.

Named for its bald, featherless red head, the turkey vulture can soar for hours without flapping, using its unusually keen sense of smell to find its preferred food source miles away. Its eating habits might seem repulsive – but feasting on dead animals fills a useful role in the ecosystem, and also gives the vulture a powerful form of self-defense: it can shoot a stream of semi-digested meat and acidic gastric juices as much as ten feet. The Turkey Vulture will have moved south by the time winter comes, but the warmth of spring will carry it back to Colorado skies – that, and the ever-turning circle of life.

About Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards are snapshots of our colorful state in sound. They give brief insights into our people and places, our flora and fauna, and our past and present, from every corner of Colorado.