Turkey Vulture Wingspan: Explained And Compared With Others

Turkey Vulture Wingspan

One time I was on a trip to Georgia and there I saw a turkey vulture flying. At first, I was not able to believe how big it looked.

I always thought that vultures didn’t have that big wingspan but trust me when you see them in person it’s a totally different story.

So I thought just like me some of you people might be curious about their wingspan. 

So In this article, I’ve explained and compared their wingspan with other birds.

Turkey Vulture Wingspan Explained 

Turkey Vulture Wingspan

One of the most important parts of any bird’s anatomy is its wings, the feature that makes them fly in the sky. I usually wonder why humans don’t have wings so that we can also fly like them. 

Anyways, talking about the wingspan of the Turkey vultures, they have enormous wings that allow them to soar high in the sky. 

This allows them to examine large vistas for potential prey before diving into a feast. They utilize their amazing senses of sight and smell to identify carrion from up to 20,000 feet in the air. 

Turkey vultures are around the same size as other vultures such as the black vulture, but their wingspan is about 1-1.5 feet greater. 

So on average, the turkey vulture has a wingspan range of 160–183 cm (5.2-6 ft) with its body length being 62–81 cm (2-2.6ft). 

Juvenile Turkey Vulture Wingspan

Turkey Vulture Wingspan

A Juvenile bird is not as great at flying as an adult, and also has a smaller wingspan than its parents. The young Turkey Vulture is ready for its maiden flight at the age of 9-10 weeks when its wingspan is large enough to fly. 

On average juvenile turkey vultures has a wingspan range of 4-5 ft.

When flying for the first time one of the adult vultures stays and flies with the juvenile, just like our parents teach us how to walk. 

How Is a Bird’s Wingspan Measured?

A bird’s, insect’s, or airplane’s wingspan is the distance between the tips of one wing and the tips of the other. 

The wingspan of a bird is the distance between both the tips of the wings when fully stretched out. 

If we think of the same for humans what would that look like? While we don’t really have a “wingspan” we do have our hands, so the wingspan in our case would be the distance from our one hand’s tip to the tip of the other hand. 

Mostly captive birds or deceased birds’ wingspan is measured under the supervision of experts.

What Is The Average And Biggest Wingspan Of A Turkey Vulture

The average wingspan of the Turkey Vulture is between 160–183 cm (5.2-6ft). And the largest wingspan of the bird could go anywhere up to 6+ feet. 

Following is the wingspan of the Turkey Vulture in different units:

Cm Inch Feet
Turkey Vulture 160–18363–725.2-6

Turkey Vulture Wingspan Compared To Human

Now we know that the bird’s maximum wingspan might reach up to 6 feet, which is taller than the typical human. 

It’s mind-boggling how a bird can extend itself to this length and grow to be larger than a human. Isn’t it weird to see oneself standing in front of a bid and feeling small?

The average height of a human is between 5.5 to 5.9 feet, which is quite a lot of inches shorter than the average Turkey Vulture. 

While we believe that we have the most advanced features and abilities, it is quite interesting to know how a bird species can outstand us with its large wingspan. 

Turkey Vulture Wingspan Vs Bald Eagle Wingspan

Moving on to other types of birds, here we compare vultures with Eagles. The fundamental distinction between an eagle and a vulture is that eagles are skilled hunters, but vultures rarely hunt for themselves and instead feast on carrion. 

Furthermore, Bald Eagles have a more straight and forceful flight than Vultures. This is because of their large and strong wingspan which can reach upto 8 feet which is nearly around 2 feet larger than the wingspan of the Turkey Vulture. 

Following is the measurement of the wingspan of a Turkey Vulture compared to a Bald Eagle:

Birds Cm Inch Feet
Turkey Vulture 160–18363–725.2-6
Bald Eagle 180 – 230 cm70-905 ft 11 in and 7 ft 7 in

As you can see from the chart there is a great difference in the wingspan of the Turkey Vulture and the Bald Eagle. The Bald Eagle has almost twice as larger a wingspan as the Turkey Vulture. 

Turkey Vulture Wingspan Vs Condor Wingspan

Now that we have compared a vulture with an eagle, why don’t we also compare it with its own type? Another vulture! The other comparison on the list is between the Turkey Vulture and the Condor (new world vultures). 

The Andean condor is a massive South American Cathartid vulture and the solitary member of the genus Vultur. The Condor Vulture is regarded as one of the world’s biggest birds of prey. 

Additionally, it has a very large wingspan as compared to its other counterparts. It has a wingspan of up to 3.3 m. (10 ft 10 in), which is really almost double the maximum wingspan of the Turkey Vulture. 

If you want to compare the wingspan of the two in different units, then here’s a chart you can look up to:

Birds Cm Inch Feet
Turkey Vulture 160–18363–725.2-6
Condor Wingspan2.59-320102-1268.5-10.5 

Turkey Vulture Vs Albatross Wingspan Comparison

The Wandering Albatross of the Albatross family is the most fascinating bird, with a huge wingspan. 

You won’t believe the Wandering Albatross if it stands beside a human being with its wings wide open, it would seem to look almost double our size. 

The southern royal albatross, mainly the Wandering Albatross, is a big seabird, with a wingspan that can be as big as 12 feet. 

In front of the Albatross, the Turkey Vulture has no competition in terms of the size of its wingspan. 

The Albatross has a wingspan almost 4 times as big as that of the Turkey Vulture. If we speak in terms of each of their sizes in different units, you can clearly see what I mean. 

Birds Cm Inch Feet
Turkey Vulture 160–18363–725.2-6 ft
Albatross243-35396-1398ft-11.6 ft 

See how huge the numbers for the Albatross are, it’s insane as to how a bird can have a size this large. 


That was everything you need to know about the Turkey vulture’s size. I hope this article was informative enough and you got something useful from it.

Thank You For Reading!

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