Turkey Vulture Habitat

Our Turkey Vulture exhibit may be a surprise to many of our guests. When one thinks about the bird-life along the coast, they may not immediately consider this large scavenger. But as with any ecosystem, scavengers are an important element to nature’s eternal cycle of renewal.  Their Latin name means "purifier."

Our sibling pair of vultures, named Ichabod and Olive, came to the Oregon Coast Aquarium through unusual circumstances. The birds were taken from their nest as hatchlings and taken into a human home. Shortly thereafter, Olive and Ichabod were turned over to wildlife rehabilitation specialists who were able to provide the care they needed. But, as a result, they imprinted on human beings early and were unable to be released back into the wild. They were placed in their permanent home with the Aquarium in 2009.

Intelligent and curious birds, both vultures need to be provided with a variety of toys and other “enrichment” items to keep their brains active. Many of these enrichment items help imitate what the vultures would normally do in the wild, including digging into objects (like pumpkins) and pulling materials apart. Local wild turkey vultures have also taken an interest in Ichabod and Olive, sometimes flying low over the Aquarium or perching on the pylons surrounding their enclosure.

Range & Habitat

Ranges widely throughout Oregon, across North America as far north as Canada and south to the tip of South America.

Conservation Status

Common.  Protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.