Baby Turkey Vulture photos and videos by Alison Hermance
WildCare admitted this fluffy baby Turkey Vulture to our Wildlife Hospital after he fell from his nest, and then wandered up a hillside to his rescuer's back door.
It must have been quite a hike (on a hot day!) because the bird was panting and slumped over on his side when rescuers discovered him on their back porch.
A call to Marin Humane got the large, fluffy baby transferred to WildCare, where our team gave him subcutaneous fluids to help him overcome his mild dehydration. During the bird's exam, our team noted that he was "alert and responsive," which boded well.
In the Wildlife Hospital, both the exam and X-rays found that the young bird was healthy and uninjured.
Medical Staff kept him in care, hand-feeding him twice a day, while our Raptor Reunite Team went into action to find the nest and confirm that the parent birds were still nearby.
In the video below you can watch our Medical Staff offering the young bird food to keep his weight up while we await news on his reunite potential.
The bird shows his wings in a threat display, but he grudgingly accepts bites of food from the tweezers. Turn up the volume to hear him hissing in warning... this is what baby Turkey Vultures do to deter predators.
It's almost Father's Day, and Turkey Vulture Dads are some of the best!
Turkey Vultures like to nest in cavities or protected hollows, like the one offered by this deteriorating oak tree from which our baby fell. They also like rock crevices, caves, ledges, thickets, mammal burrows, abandoned hawk or heron nests, and abandoned buildings.
Both parent birds care for their fluffy young, regurgitating the carrion they have eaten either directly into their youngsters' mouths, or onto the ground next to them. Yum!
Celebrate the wonderful Dads in YOUR life! Click to donate to WildCare for Father's Day and send Dad an eCard featuring a Turkey Vulture (he'll love it!) or another of the animals in care in the Wildlife Hospital!
One of WildCare's advocacy messages is to encourage people to keep dead snags/dead trees like the one above on their property. Dead trees provide valuable habitat and nest sites for many, many animal species! If it's safe for you to do so, please leave dead trees and logs standing to give homes to babies like this young vulture!
Once we knew the location of the nest, and had confirmed that both Mom and Dad Turkey Vulture were caring for our baby's sibling, it was time to reunite!
In the video below you'll meet our baby vulture's sibling who clearly doesn't want our team anywhere her nest.
A quick look to assess what the entryway to the nest looked like, and we were ready to return our baby vulture to his home.
Watch the second video below to see the reunite in action!
Celebrate the Wonderful Dads in YOUR Life!
Whether they're regurgitating carrion for their young like Turkey Vulture fathers do (!), or teaching their little ones to swim and forage like Common Murre Dads, fathers of all species deserve love and appreciation this Father's Day!
At WildCare, our team steps in as both Dad AND Mom to care for the baby animals we admit throughout the spring, summer and fall.
Donate today in honor of Father's Day, and send the wonderful Dads in your life an eCard (example to the right) featuring a beautiful wildlife baby, or an awesome wildlife father (like a California Quail, a Turkey Vulture, or a Gray Fox).