Turkey Vulture (Cathartes Aura)
True or false? Engineers have been known to use a bird's sense of smell to detect leaks in natural gas
True: Engineers will use Turkey vultures (Cathartes Aura) to detect leaks in natural gas lines with their amazing sense of smell. They pump a gas called ethyl mercaptan into pipelines. This is the gas produced by decaying carrion. Turkey vultures home in on the scent escaping from leaks.
A large dark brown vulture with a naked red head up to 31 inches in length with a wing span up to and 70 inches.
A wide variety of habitats, easily habituates to human development.
Nearly all of the lower 48 states and sections of southern Canada.
Carrion including road kill and washed-up fish, rotten fruit and vegetables, plant matter, insects, other invertebrates, reptiles, bird nestlings...even animal dung.
Up to 16 years in the wild and 33 years in zoos.
Turkey vultures breed once a year between March and June and lay up to 3 eggs after a a 30-40 day incubation period. The chicks gain their flight feathers within 80 days and are independent by 90 days.
Brew at the Zoo
We are open...
9am to 4pm every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day
Directions and Info
Contact Info: Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo 1875 Noble Avenue Bridgeport, CT 06610
Main Number: (203) 394-6565