This is Norabo. He was found when he was less than one year old with a mysterious tail injury. During his long recovery, he was taken care of by a local veterinarian. As a result of being in such close proximity to humans for so long, Norabo lost his fear of people. He's very playful and is a real goofball who loves to play around with the people that care for him. Unfortunately, his tail feathers never returned to normal and his name “Norabo” means “No Tail” in Spanish. He has lived at Sharon Audubon in Connecticut (USA) since 2003. Although it is unfortunate that he is no longer wild, he is lovingly cared for and he has taught many children and adults about the beauty of the so-called "ugly" animals. Personally, I think he's gorgeous :)
Turkey vultures are large, soaring birds with black-brown feathers, a red, bald head, and a curved, ivory-colored beak. When soaring, they hold their wings in a V-shape, flapping their wings infrequently. Their bald heads are a great adaptation since they constantly stick their heads inside the bodies of dead animals. In addition, their nostrils are very wide and open, which allows them to breathe while their heads are inside of a carcass. Vultures are usually gentle and not aggressive. They have some interesting quirks and behavioral adaptions. For example, when vultures are threatened, they regurgitate the contents of their stomach in order to frighten away an attacker. They will also often defecate on their own legs and rely on the evaporation of the water in the feces to cool themselves down when hot.
The Turkey vulture is the most widespread of the New World vultures. One of three species in the genus ''Cathartes'' of the family Cathartidae, the turkey vulture ranges from southern Canada to the southernmost tip of South America. It inhabits a variety of open and semi-open areas, including subtropical forests, shrublands, pastures, and deserts.