Do Turkey Vultures Take a Bath?

Reconyx 1 Sept 2017 351
Turkey vulture approaching the Beaver Pond.

In the over 179,000 photos I’ve captured so far during my ongoing wildlife study at 3RF, a few remarkable photos caught my eye from September 2017 which I’ve never seen before. A turkey vulture was photographed walking into the Beaver Pond and taking a bath along the water’s edge.

After some research, I learned after seeing this series of photos that if a water source is available turkey vultures will often bathe after they eat. This gives them the ability to wash off excess carrion that’s remained around their heads after they are done eating.

I never would’ve known this interesting bit of information if it were not catching it on one of my camera traps. As you can see from the images the bird stayed in the water for around 10 minutes. It dunked its head completely under the water, waited and then walked out of the pond.

So now you know that turkey vultures do take baths after they eat. Enjoy!

Reconyx 1 Sept 2017 355
Made it into the water up to its belly.
Reconyx 1 Sept 2017 356
Turkey vulture taking in its surroundings.
Reconyx 1 Sept 2017 358
Washing its head.
Reconyx 1 Sept 2017 360
All done now!
Reconyx 1 Sept 2017 364
Pausing before leaving the Beaver Pond.
Reconyx 1 Sept 2017 379
Exiting the Beaver Pond with an obvious wet head.