Turkey Vulture in Caledon, Ontario
They are damm ugly birds but Turkey Vultures are all over Caledon and various parts of Ontario in the summer time. People often confuse them for hawks when they are flying high above due to a long similar wing span but up close they are not similar at all. I took this picture near the Eaton Family estate, there was a few of them sitting on a fence. The photo is a little dark, it was late in the day and I was shooting against the sun so the lighting was not optimal but a few of them came out ok, the above image (click on the image for a larger version) has been adjusted and manipulated with the HDR software Photomatix as well touched up in Photoshop. Photo was taken from sitting in my car with my 70-300mm zoom lens.
Some info about the Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura, is a bird found throughout most of the Americas. It also known in some North American regions as the Turkey Buzzard (or just “buzzard”), and in some areas of the Caribbean as the John Crow or Carrion Crow. The Turkey Vulture is the most widespread of the New World vultures, ranging from southern Canada to the southernmost tip of South America. It inhabits a variety of open and semi-open areas, including subtropical forests, shrub lands, pastures, and deserts. Its life expectancy in the wild ranges upward of 16 years, with a captive life span of over 20 years being possible. The Turkey Vulture is a scavenger and feeds almost exclusively on carrion. It finds its meals using its keen vision and sense of smell, flying low enough to detect the gasses produced by the beginnings of the process of decay in dead animals. In flight, it uses thermals to move through the air, flapping its wings infrequently. It roosts in large community groups. Lacking a syrinx (the vocal organ of birds) its only vocalizations are grunts or low hisses. It nests in caves, hollow trees, or thickets, each year generally raising two chicks, which it feeds by regurgitation. It has very few natural predators. For more detailed info on Turkey Vultures, click here.
Here are some more photos of the Turkey Vulture: