Our Education Birds: Vader

Vader is a Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura). Vader's right shoulder was badly damaged when he was shot; radiographs revealed small fragments of the rifle bullet within the joint. Since he cannot fully extend his right wing, Vader cannot fly properly and therefore cannot be released back into the wild. Vader was shot near Pruntytown in Taylor County; the violator has not been aprehended.

Vultures are an integral part of the ecosystem, and they are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which makes harming them illegal.

Turkey Vultures are intelligent birds. Vader has several "toys" to keep his brain stimulated, including a phone book (which he shreds apart) and a "Kong." A Kong is a dog toy that treats can be hidden inside; we hide mice in Vader's Kong, and he has to reach his beak inside to get them out.

We decided on the name "Vader" because the vulture's deep hiss sounds like Darth Vader breathing. Also, both Darth Vader and the Turkey Vulture wear black. Plus "Vader the Vulture" just has a nice ring to it!




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Vader's Image Gallery:

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