Turkey Vulture – Bailey

Name: Bailey – Male

Species: Turkey Vulture

Liberty Arrival: Spring 1987/ Adult

Injury/Condition: Imprinted

Bailey was hatched at the Phoenix Zoo in 1986. He quickly learned that food would be provided by the zookeepers rather than his parents and followed the food handlers. As a result, Bailey became imprinted. Since the Zoo already had Bailey’s parents, the administrators sought to place Bailey. Dr. Orr, founder of Liberty Wildlife and one of the Zoo’s veterinarians, agreed to place Bailey at Liberty. He is one of the oldest education birds and one of the final birds that handlers will learn to handle.

Turkey Vulture Facts: 

Turkey vultures range as far north as the southern boundary of Canada and south into Central America and South America.

Life span:The average life expectancy of the turkey vulture has been estimated to be from anywhere from 10 to 16 years in the wild. A captive life span of over 30+ years is possible. (Bailey was hatched in 1986.)

Prey: An aerial scavenger, the Turkey Vulture feeds on a wide range of wild and domestic carrion. Dead mammals ranging from mice to cattle are common foods. When carrion is in short supply, the Turkey Vulture has been observed eating plants including rotten pumpkins and coconuts, grapes, and juniper berries.

Babies/Nests: No nest is built. Nesting sites include rock outcrops, fallen trees, cliffs, and hollow logs. Usually, 1 – 3 eggs are laid which hatch in 30 to 40 days.  The young fledge in about 70 to 80 days.