Young and maybe ugly but juvenile Turkey Vulture still cool. These scavengers with their featherless heads could certainly hold their own in a contest for world’s ugliest bird. Nevertheless, if you set aside the face, they are pretty darned neat.
You will often see them soaring high in the sky in large groups – appropriately called a ‘wake’ – looking for their next meal. They feed on carrion they find lying around dead like rabbits, prairie dogs and such and are believed to be able to smell the dead animals up to a mile away.
This young one was with about 20 other vultures hanging out at a pond. Juveniles look much like adults except they have a gray head instead of the red of an older bird. In one picture you notice this bird appears to be making some noise. However, interestingly enough, turkey vultures aren’t capable of making true sounds – they only hiss.