Fauna Flora Photography

Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura

A large bird, common around Montreal, and a scavenger feeding almost exclusively on carrion. Viewed against the sky, the bird appears black but in fact the bird is dark-brown and the bottom of the wings are light brown.



Common Names

EnglishTurkey Vulture
FrenchUrubu à tête rouge
SpanishUrubú de cabeza roja


SpeciesCathartes aura

How to Identify

If you are able to have a good look at the color and shape of its head, easy to identify. On distance, dark almost black, flying in circles, groups with others of the same species.

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) - Belvédère Outremont - 2019-07-14
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) - Bromont - 2017-07-23

Where and When to Spot

This species stays in the Montreal area only in summer and can be seen flying looking for cadavers over any park.

Belvédère Outremont x x - -
Jardin Botanique de Montréal - x - -
Parc Angrignon x x - -
Parc Michel-Chartrand x - - -
Parc Nature Pointe aux Prairies x - - -
Parc de la Frayère x x - -
Parc des Rapides x - - -
Saguenay St. Lawrence Marine Park - x - -

Where and when a species has been observed, identified, and recorded.

Last updated on 2024-03-14. Written and regularly updated by Karl-Heinz Müller, Dipl. Natw. ETH, Biology. With 10 years of experience in wildlife photography, Karl-Heinz shares first-hand, on-site collected observations, photos and videos from his frequent visits to parks in the Montreal area.