Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)
The most widespread vulture in North America, the Turkey Vulture is called "buzzard" in many areas. A Turkey Vulture standing on the ground can, at a distance, resemble a Wild Turkey. It is unique among our vultures in that it finds carrion by smell as well as sight.
Turkey Vultures exist in a wide range of habitats from deserts to savannas and grasslands, to tropical and temperate forests. The bird’s range extends across much of the continental United States, into Central America, and throughout most of South America. Birds in the northern limits of its range migrate south as far as South America.
The Turkey Vulture prevents the spread of disease by cleansing ecosystems of carrion.