Turkey Vulture Migration
This week, Tucson Wildlife Center’s staff and volunteers have been witnessing (and photographing) evidence of turkey vulture families gathering for fall migration from Tucson to Mexico, Central and South America. Every year great numbers of turkey vultures pass through the Tucson area from mid-September to the end of October. They make themselves at home sunning on utility poles in the morning, soaring on air thermals during the heat of the day, and roosting in tall trees at night.
While here, they also play an important role in nature by cleaning disease out of the environment. Vultures do not usually kill their food; they eat animals that die from disease, natural causes, or are roadkill from car collisions. Amazingly, they can eat a rotten diseased carcass and not get sick or die. Their stomach acids kill the bacteria and toxins, helping to protect other animals and people from getting sick. *
As turkey vultures can often be found cleaning the roads, TWC would like to remind drivers to be mindful of the presence of these birds while driving on roads where flocks (called a kettle) are frequently seen. By doing so, you can help ensure the safety of these birds and other wildlife and prevent accidents.
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