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Habitat Zones of Southern California

Turkey Vulture
Cathartes aura

This large scavenger is seen throughout Southern California. It nests in caves and crevasses on sharp slopes and cliffs. This species has an unusual ability to smell the odor of decaying meat for many miles. Most birds have a very poor sense of smell. Their wings allow them to soar with ease and they are often the first birds seen in thermals and wind upsurges.

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