Turkey Vulture

Cathartes aura


This Turkey Vulture was photographed flying along the coast just north of Cappahayden (Avalon Peninsula) on January 16, 2020 and seen hanging out in nearby Renews over the next few weeks. 

Status: Rare (Less than Annual)

Origins: The most widespread vulture in the Americas, ranging from southern Canada (including the Maritime provinces) to South America.

Record Details: There is a growing number of confirmed records for Newfoundland. (1) A specimen was collected from Renews in the fall 1905 (later lost in a fire), (2) and another from St. Anthony (precise year TBD). (3) One was observed on several occasions in the Codroy Valley between June 10-21, 2001. (4) A moribund individual was picked up at Lamaline (Burin Peninsula) on January 22, 2016 and housed at the Salmonier Nature Park (subsequent details TBD).

A rash of sightings were reported (some documented, others unconfirmed but convincing) across the island starting in summer 2018. It is difficult to know how many individuals may have been involved, but some reports almost certainly pertain the same individual moving around. In 2018, separate reports came from a visiting birder in Grates Cove (June 21), park staff at Terra Nova National Park (August) and Glovertown (September 7). In 2019, and individual was photographed near Trinity (April 13-14). A few weeks later, an individual was first reported by park staff near La Manche Provincial Park and subsequently seen by many birders (May 28 – June 2). An individual was reported from Marystown on October 4. There were periodic reports of (presumably) one in and around St. John’s from November 5 – December 10. In 2020, and individual was photographed between Bear Cove and Cappahayden on January 16, and presumably the same bird was seen and photographed hanging out in nearly Renews in  early February.

Other compelling (but unconfirmed) descriptions have also come forward, including Terra Nova National Park in June 2001 and the Codroy Valley again in September 2010.

* NOTE – This website is not an official account and “may” contain incorrect information and/or details of unconfirmed records. *

2 thoughts on “Turkey Vulture

  1. Hello, this summer I spotted a turkey culture in la manche provincial park. I am a ranger there and have a picture or two of him. Some birdwatchers came shortly after and got some good pictures of him as well.

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