Pilgrim is an adult, female Turkey Vulture. She weighs 4 lbs., has a wingspan of 70”, and is 30” in length.
Turkey Vultures have exceptional soaring abilities and can travel great distances in search of carrion (dead meat). To identify Turkey Vultures in flight, look for a two-toned gray and black under wing and a strong dihedral (upward “V”) wing position. Because of their large wingspan and light body weight, vultures have a characteristic rocking motion while in flight.
Vultures keep the environment clean by disposing of carcasses. To do this, they have features such as an featherless head so they can remain hygienic; large nostril openings for odor detection; a sharp, hooked beak for tearing food; and flat feet for bracing and pulling on carcasses.
Vultures do not construct nests, but will use tree hollows, cliff cavities, or a scrape on the ground to lay 1-2 eggs. Turkey Vultures are migratory and can be found in Montana in late spring and throughout the summer.