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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Birds of the St. Croix River Valley: Minnesota and Wisconsin


American Vultures

Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)

Status: Regular migrant and probable nesting species.

Migration: Fairly common migrant throughout the Valley, becoming common at Crex Meadows during the fall. Spring migrants arrive during the first week of April (earliest-24 March 1963 and 1977, Pierce County). Peak spring migration occurs between 20 April and 1 May and most depart by 15 May. Peak fall migration occurs 15-25 September; departure occurs by 15 October (latest-23 November 1948 and 30 November 1950, Burnett County).

Nesting Season Distribution: Rare to uncommon summer resident throughout the Valley, most regularly observed in the forested regions along the upper St. Croix River. Roberts (1932) reported turkey vultures nesting "along the St. Croix River"; however, he provided no dates or locations. Turkey vultures are regularly observed during the summer between Prescott and Stillwater. This area of extensively wooded bluffs provides excellent breeding habitat for vultures. Although young are observed during late July, no nests have been found.

Habitat: Habitat used by turkey vulture during the nesting season consists of Southern Deciduous Forest occurring on bluffs along the St. Croix River.

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