The Turkey Vulture is not seen in Oregon all year around. There are five sub species of the Turkey Vulture. Our Turkey Vulture I believe is the Western Turkey Vulture, this sub species I have read is even broke down even further.
I read where at one point and time people thought the Vultures in general were a threat to livestock thus killed, this was found to be untrue and the facts are the Turkey Vulture not only smells out gas leaks in remote places that pipe lines are found, but clean up the expired animals so disease does not spread.
Not all Vultures can smell as the Turkey Vulture does for food. Other Vultures who do not have this keen sense of smell follow around the Turkey Vulture for a meal.
I have not read anything about our Turkey Vulture breeding in Oregon, however person experience investigating the cliffs and caves of Central Oregon we have came across these Vultures protecting the cliffs and caves of where we hiked. Protecting to the point of dive bombing Guy coming very, very close to him never touching him. I added in a couple of those photographs. The Turkey Vulture is not any kind of hunter, we just got to close is all. It was kind of funny! The Vulture startled us and you can see one of the mastiffs near Guy wondering what just happened. Notice there is a reason why Guy’s hat has the hat tie attached….. These were taking last year 4/24/2010. The date is just a coincident .
I read where the Turkey Vulture are horrible nest builders. Guy was just saying if we hiked to where we were last year, those Turkey Vultures would more then likely be there in that same spot.
The Turkey Vulture is the most known Vulture to migrate therefor is protected by the migratory treaty act of 1918. These birds are protected, so I personally leave feathers I find or any parts of such a bird alone.
I have read the only ones to have such a bird in captivity are those birds who have been hurt and unable to return to the wild. I would think this consists of educational facilities, or any licensed facility who takes on such hurt birds? Otherwise illegal to own.
The young Turkey Vultures have gray heads. Since the ones I caught with the camera have the red heads I think these are all adults?