iN PHOTOS: Thompson-Okanagan home to strange looking turkey vultures | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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iN PHOTOS: Thompson-Okanagan home to strange looking turkey vultures

A turkey vulture scours the earth for carrion in Kelowna.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Thomas Fulton

Turkey vultures can be spotted in the Thompson-Okanagan region between April and September and local photographers have been capturing amazing images of the weird looking birds.

With their bald, red heads the birds have a strange appearance but some of their behaviours are arguably stranger.

Turkey vultures urinate on themselves to keep cool, feed on dead animals and vomit to escape from predators, according to Bird Advisors.

Three turkey vultures perch in a tree in Barrier.
Three turkey vultures perch in a tree in Barrier.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Alan Webb

Found in open and semi-open areas close to woodlands, the menacing looking birds can detect odours of decaying animals from great distances. They use their powerful beaks to tear and rip apart carrion, washed up fish and roadkill.

The birds have a strong stomach acid that allows them to eat the bacteria-laden carcasses without being harmed, helping clean the environment. 

When the vultures are threatened by a predator, they vomit to make a distraction and fly away, and sometimes will pretend to be dead.

Two turkey vultures perch on a fallen tree in Barrier.
Two turkey vultures perch on a fallen tree in Barrier.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Alan Webb

Other interesting facts about the birds is they don’t have vocal organs so can only make hissing and grunting sounds, and they don’t make nests rather they lay eggs on the ground in sheltered areas.

Do you have awesome nature photographs you want to share? Send them to news@infonews.ca.

A turkey vulture flies through sunlit trees in Barrier.
A turkey vulture flies through sunlit trees in Barrier.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Alan Webb

A turkey vulture flaps its wings in the rain at Predator Ridge in Vernon.
A turkey vulture flaps its wings in the rain at Predator Ridge in Vernon.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Cory Jmaeff

The silhouette of turkey vulture in Barrier can be seen.
The silhouette of turkey vulture in Barrier can be seen.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Alan Webb

This turkey vulture was spotted in Kamloops.
This turkey vulture was spotted in Kamloops.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Christine Gray

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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