About the Turkey Vultures
The Marshall Turkey Vultures are nesting in an empty hay loft in a barn on private property near Marshall, MO. In general, vultures arrive in late March or early April and lay eggs in early May. Hatch begins about 28 days after the second egg is laid. Both parents incubate eggs and brood young.
Vultures eat primarily carrion. Although they prefer relatively fresh carrion, they are unable to tear carcasses open, which means they must wait until a carcass putrefies or is opened by mammals or larger vultures. This may be why they have been documented following bald eagles and black vultures.
Adult Turkey Vultures regurgitate food for their young, who fledge roughly sixty days after hatching. To learn more about turkey vultures in general, please follow this link to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website.
We will have more information after the adults return. Although vultures are classified as a member of the order Accipitriformes, and so related to hawks, eagles, and falcons, males and female birds are similar in size and lack the strong feet and talons of most Accipitriforme birds.
Turkey vultures lay eggs in dark, quiet recesses, including rock outcrops, mammal burrows, hollow logs, thickets, hollow trees, abandoned stick nests, and abandoned buildings. Nest sites must be dark and isolated from human disturbance.