Are there turkey vultures in the Pacific Northwest?

Answered by Michael Wilson

There are indeed Turkey Vultures in the Pacific Northwest. In fact, their presence in this region has significantly increased over the years. It is fascinating to observe how their population has expanded and established in areas where they were previously absent.

Historically, Turkey Vultures were largely absent from the Pacific Northwest. However, in recent decades, their numbers have been steadily growing, and they can now be regularly observed during the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) in both Oregon and British Columbia.

The increase in the Turkey Vulture population in the Pacific Northwest follows a similar pattern to what has been observed in other regions, such as the eastern United States. It is interesting to note that the expansion occurred in Oregon and British Columbia about 20 years after it was observed in the eastern states.

During the CBCs, over 300 Turkey Vultures have been counted in some areas of the Pacific Northwest. This is a significant number and indicates a healthy and thriving population. It is a testament to the adaptability and resilience of these remarkable birds.

The presence of Turkey Vultures in the Pacific Northwest brings a unique ecological dynamic to the region. These scavengers play a crucial role in the ecosystem by consuming carrion, which helps prevent the spread of diseases and keeps the environment clean. Their increased numbers also suggest improved environmental conditions and availability of food sources.

Personally, I have witnessed the presence of Turkey Vultures during my birdwatching expeditions in the Pacific Northwest. It is always a thrilling experience to spot these magnificent birds soaring gracefully in the sky, effortlessly riding thermals in search of their next meal. Their distinctive silhouette, with their large wingspan and V-shaped flight pattern, is unmistakable and adds to the allure of the region’s avian diversity.

Turkey Vultures are indeed present in the Pacific Northwest, with their population steadily growing over the years. Their increased numbers on the CBCs in Oregon and British Columbia indicate a flourishing population and highlight the adaptability of these birds. Their presence adds to the ecological diversity of the region and provides bird enthusiasts with unique opportunities to observe and appreciate their remarkable behavior.