Tracey Tetreau shares this captivating image taken just south of the Trail airport showing one of three turkey vultures drying out after the morning rain, March 24. Photo: Tracey Tetreau

Tracey Tetreau shares this captivating image taken just south of the Trail airport showing one of three turkey vultures drying out after the morning rain, March 24. Photo: Tracey Tetreau

What you see …

If you have a recent photo to share email it large or actual-size to

Tracey Tetreau shares this captivating image taken just south of the Trail airport showing one of three turkey vultures drying out after the morning rain, March 24.

Here’s some interesting facts about turkey vultures:

Society, in general, portrays turkey vultures and vultures in general, as dirty, evil, harbingers of death. In reality, these scavenging birds are actually very important for the health and success of an ecosystem.

By feeding on carrion, vultures help prevent the spread of deadly diseases. These special birds are incredibly misunderstood, and we should respect them for their importance. Read on to learn about the assigned animal.

Like many vultures, this species lacks feathers on their heads. Their bald heads (truly bald, not “bald eagle” bald) are quite small in comparison to the rest of their bodies.

With a wingspan up to six feet across, it’s no wonder their head looks small! Most of their feathers are dark brown, but portions of the underside of their wings are silver/grey in color. This coloration starkly contrasts with the bright red/pink colored heads.

These birds are actually incredibly interesting creatures. Not only are they important to both our health and the ecosystems they live in, but they have a number of odd traits as well!

Propelling Puke – It is best if you observe these scavengers from afar. If harassed, turkey vultures can projectile vomit to deter a potential danger or predator. Even young chicks can use this defense mechanism! When we say “afar,” we mean afar – these vultures can shoot their vomit up to ten feet away!

No Nest – Shooting vomit is just one way that turkey vulture chicks protect themselves from predators. Another great way to avoid being eaten is to be really hard to get to. Vultures lay their eggs on the bare ground, but they choose bare ground in hard to reach caves and abandoned buildings. This helps keep their young out of predators’ reach.

Cooling Crap – Another very odd survival trait, vultures poop on their own legs and feet. This is actually an incredibly effective way for them to cool off in hot temperatures. The liquid poop evaporates as it dries, reducing the vulture’s body temperature.

Disease Destroyers – Before you write off vultures as disgusting oddities, hear out our last fun fact. Dead animals are a breeding ground for infectious disease, including those that can pass to humans. Vultures, all species, not just turkey vultures, have strong acid in their stomachs that destroys these toxins. By eating carrion, vultures prevent the spread of rabies, botulism, anthrax, cholera, and more.

Habitat of the Turkey Vulture

This species is extremely widespread and abundant. Because of this, you can likely see them in an immense amount of habitats and ecosystems, virtually anything they can easily fly to within their range.

Some areas that these birds frequent include grasslands, foothills, deserts, wetlands, swamps, subtropical forest, prairies, shrublands, and more. While they will live in forested areas, they tend to avoid dense vegetation. These birds will also frequent urban areas, especially busy roads that offer lots of road kill.

– Sourced from

Kootenay Boundary Regional DistrictPhotography

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A forensic anthropologist ruled bones found by the Columbia River Skywalk to be from a bear. Photo: Chilli Charlie/Unsplash
Bones found by Trail bridge, ruled not human

A Trail man made the discovery on Friday, April 8

ANKORS commemorated those who died due to drug poisoning at International Overdose Awareness Day on Sept. 1, 2020. Photo: Tyler Harper
Trail, Rossland advocates commemorate lives lost to opioid crisis

Wednesday marks five years since B.C. declared the opioid crisis a provincial health emergency.

”Societies that allow the voices of dissent to be silenced cannot call themselves democratic,” writes Dave Carter. Photo: Brian Wangenheim on Unsplash
Letter: The dangers of censorship

Letters to the Editor can be emailed to

On April 6, Pacific Coastal Airlines marked 15 years of providing air service at the Trail Regional Airport. Photo: Twitter @PacificCoastal
Carrier celebrates 15 years at Trail airport

Pacific Coastal Airlines has adopted additional safety measures during the pandemic.

Giant prize-winning pumpkins and squash are standard fare at the Pass Creek Fall Fair. Photo: Betsy Kline
Pass Creek Fall Fair cancelled for 2021

Event cancelled for second time

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. sees 873 more COVID-19 cases Tuesday, decline continues

Hospitalizations up to 377, two more deaths for 1,515 so far

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

Defence counsel for the accused entered two not guilty pleas by phone to Grand Forks Provincial Court Tuesday, Jan. 12. File photo
B.C. seafood company owner fined $25K for eating receipt, obstructing DFO inspection

Richmond company Tenshi Seafood is facing $75,000 in fines as decided March 4 by a provincial court judge

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 2, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. NDP ministers defend ‘air tax,’ latest COVID-19 business aid

Empty home tax doesn’t apply to businesses, but space above them

In Ontario, COVID-19 vaccine clinics have been set up at local mosques. (Submitted photo: Rufaida Mohammed)
Getting the vaccine does not break your fast, says Muslim COVID-19 task force

Muslim community ‘strongly’ encouraging people to get their shot, whether or not during Ramadan

Most Read