We have Turkey Vulture hatch!
Both turkey vulture nestlings have arrived! Bit #1 hatched on April 26 at around 5:00 AM CDT, while Bit #2 arrived on April 27 at around 1:00 PM CDT. They are the third and fourth turkey vulture to hatch since we began watching. You can watch them live here: https://www.raptorresource.org/birdcams/missouri-turkey-vultures/. If you’d like to watch what we can see of hatch, check out chickiedee’s first and second hatch videos: https://youtu.be/L3wYh-etbL0 and https://youtu.be/L3wYh-etbL0.
Eagles and falcons feed their young chunks of meat, but turkey vultures feed by regurgitation (aka vomiting)! A chick slips or thrusts its beak inside its parent’s beak, which stimulates regurgitation. When chicks are young, parents regurgitate small amounts of well-digested food – much like the tiny bits of pure meat that eagles feed to their hatchlings. As the young vultures grow, parents often switch to regurgitating large, poorly digested chunks on the floor – much like eagle parents who feed older nestlings large pieces of bone and meat with fur, scales, and feathers.
On the Bits: We’ll need to settle on what to call them for official posts, but fans came up with ‘Bits’. I’ve been fond of it since I first heard it, so I used it here. Enjoy!