Turkey vulture diets vary depending on their habitat. Vultures living around agriculture feed mainly on the carrion of domestic animals, mostly livestock. They also rely heavily on roadkill in areas of human development. A study in South Carolina found that in non-agricultural areas, their primary source of food was wild carrion. Turkey vultures preferentially feed on smaller carcasses, but will feed on dead animals of any size. They prefer freshly dead carcasses but cannot get through the thick skin of larger animals, so must wait for some decay to enable entering body cavities. To find their food they rely on their keen sense of smell and vision. They are one of the few bird species that has an acute sense of smell. In some cases, turkey vultures have been seen eating rotten fruits and vegetables and occasionally they prey on insects, reptiles, or bird nestlings. Turkey vultures have also been observed eating coyote and domestic animal dung.
Animal Foods: birds; reptiles; carrion ; insects
Other Foods: dung
Primary Diet: carnivore (Scavenger )