Turkey Vulture Size: Explained And Compare With Others

Turkey Vulture Size

If you ever take a walk on the islands of South America, you may probably catch sight of high soaring raptors with their v-shaped wingspan. 

One of the three species of the Catharidae family of vultures, better known as New World Vultures, is the Turkey vulture. 

Turkey vultures are quite popular for their sharp sense of smell. Though not very tall or heavy, this species of vulture is relatively much larger than the small-sized birds found in their area. 

And In this article, I’ve explained and compared the size of the Turkey Vulture.

So without further ado, let’s get into it.

Turkey Vulture Height: How Tall Are Turkey Vultures?

The Turkey vulture is not like any normal vulture that we commonly see, this has a huge size and weighs more than 10 kg (22lbs). 

Another feature that separates these vultures from other members of the New World vultures is they don’t show sexual dimorphism. 

The absence of sexual dimorphism can be due to their similar diet. Both sexes are similar in size, weight, and coloration. 

Though not very tall, they have long feet. They reach up to a height of around 64-80 cm. It takes around 2 years for a baby turkey vulture to mature and grow to its full size.  

Turkey Vulture Height64-80 cm (2-2.2ft)

Turkey Vulture Weight: How Much Do Turkey Vultures Weigh?

When we are studying the features of a turkey vulture, then weight becomes very interesting. 

This is a rare species of vulture in terms of constancy in weight as its weight varies with habitat. 

Now here again diet can be the reason for this variation. 

On average Turkey vulture’s weight ranges from 0.8 to 2.41 kg (1.8 to 5.3 lb).

However, to answer in brief the average weight of the Turkey vulture can be taken as 1.5 kg (3.3lbs). 

Same as the case in height, these birds do not display sexual dimorphism in weight. Therefore, both sexes have nearly equal weight. 

Turkey Vulture Weight0.8 to 2.41 kg (1.8 to 5.3 lb)

Turkey Vulture Wingspan: Do Turkey Vultures have a large wingspan?

Never underestimate the wingspan of a turkey vulture for its medium body size. Though not very large, these birds have a large wingspan making them excellent flyers. 

If measured exactly from the tip of one wing to the tip of the other wing, the length will come out to be around 5.2 to 6 ft or 1.6-1.8 m. 

Their entire body is covered with black feathers but the wings have a dark brown lining contrasting with the lighter-colored grey feathers on the wings. 

Turkey Vulture Wingspan 5.2 to 6 ft or 1.6-1.8 m

Baby & Juvenile Turkey Vulture Size: 

Nothing to be surprised about and just like any other living creature on this planet, a baby turkey vulture is different from a grown-up or adult one. 

But the difference in the characteristics between the two stages of this bird is quite interesting to note. 

The young turkey vultures have their bodies covered in light brown feathers while the adult ones are covered in darker hues. A baby turkey vulture takes about 25 months to fully grow into an adult. 

Baby Turkey Vulture15-20 cm0.4 – 0.5 kg (0.8-1.1lbs)
Juvenile Turkey Vulture80 cm1.5 kg (3.3lbs)

Turkey Vulture Size Compared To Humans

Have your eyes ever caught the sight of a man holding a turkey vulture in his hands?

If yes, then you must have watched him holding it without its wings spread, and if not then you must try to hold a turkey vulture with its wings spread far across both ends. I’m saying so because there is a major difference between the two sights. 

In simple words, it’s the large wingspan that makes all the difference. If a turkey vulture’s body length is measured in the second scenario then it will be much more than the average human height. 

Whereas, the bird looks like a minimal-sized creature in the first case. That is how the size of this bird can be compared with a human. 

Turkey Vulture Vs Hawk: Size Comparison

A turkey vulture and a hawk might look the same from a distance but on looking closely, the two birds possess differences. 

Both these birds are large-sized prey birds with both of them being equally dangerous. 

Though a hawk is quite big and a slightly fragile bird, the turkey vulture is even larger and much stronger.

Secondly, the hawks have a shorter wingspan than turkey vultures. The table below precisely tells the difference in main features between the two birds.

Turkey Vulture80 cm1.5 kg (3.3lbs)5.2 to 6 ft or 1.6-1.8 m
Hawk35-45cm1 – 1.4 kg (2.4-3lbs)3-4.9ft

Turkey Vulture Vs Condor: Size Comparison

It has been found that old-world vultures and condors share a common ancestor. 

The turkey vultures are known to have large wings but they fail to surpass condors in this feature. 

Below I have listed all the size differences.

Turkey Vulture2-2.2ft1.5 kg5.2 to 6 ft or 1.6-1.8 m
Condor3-4 ft1-1.5 kg8-10ft (2-3meters)

Turkey Vulture Vs Bald Eagle: Size Comparison

Turkey Vultures look a lot similar to bald eagles. You can only differentiate a turkey vulture from a bald eagle based on height if seen from a distance. 

But on looking closely, you will be able to note many more differences. Below I have mentioned all the size differences.

Turkey Vulture2 – 2.2 ft1.5 kg5.2 to 6 ft or 1.6-1.8 m
Bald Eagle2.3-3.1ft2.7-4.5kg5.5 to 8 feet


That was everything you need to know about Turkey Vultures Size. I hope this article was informative enough and you got something useful from it.

Thank You For Reading!

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