Turkey vultures feed on carrion, which is dead, decaying animal carcasses. Carrion is often rotten, and it has a foul odor because of bacterial growth. Carrion is the primary food source for scavenger birds, including other species of vultures, ravens, buzzards and bald eagles.Continue Reading
Turkey vultures avoid carrion that has become putrid, and they prefer their meat fresh. Their diet consists of many kinds of animals of various sizes. Turkey vultures are omnivores. On occasion, turkey vultures eat plant materials, such as pumpkins, shoreline vegetation and various crops. They also eat insects, washed-up fish and other invertebrates when necessary. It is extremely rare for a vulture to kill its prey.
Because turkey vultures dispose of meat that wouldn't be eaten otherwise, they help to prevent diseases. This gives them an important ecological role. Turkey vultures seek out their food using their keen sense of smell, hovering over the ground to detect the smell of ethyl mercaptan, which is a gas that animals produce as they begin to decay.
Turkey vultures have such a powerful sense of smell that they can detect meat under the forest canopy of trees. Turkey vultures are usually the first to find food, and other species of vultures and condors follow them to the food source.Learn more about Birds
While the terms buzzard and vulture are used interchangeably in the United States to describe the turkey vulture, buzzards and vultures are two unique birds. The common buzzard is a hawk, native to Europe and Asia, and it has no relation to the turkey vulture.Full Answer >
Scavenging desert animals include ravens, vultures, crows, foxes and coyotes. Additionally, many scavenging insects subsist on dead organisms. Some of the desert’s scavengers are capable of capturing their own prey, but as food can be scarce in the desert, they are always looking to scavenge an easy meal.Full Answer >
Flamingos are above blue-green algae, brine shrimp and plankton in the food chain and below wild dogs, crocodiles and birds of prey like eagles, vultures and storks. They have few natural predators, but flamingo eggs and chicks are vulnerable to other birds, especially if they are separate from their groups.Full Answer >
Predators of flamingos include other birds, such as vultures and storks, pythons, wild pigs and other mammals such as lions, jackals and cheetahs. The risk of predation to flamingos varies depending on their surrounding environments. Flamingos in different parts of the world face threats from different species, with the exception of humans, who pose a risk to flamingos through activities like taking eggs for sustenance and altering flamingos' habitats.Full Answer >