Vladimir the Turkey Vulture

Behind the Scenes with Vladimir the Turkey Vulture – July 15, 2020

While everyone was sheltering in place the past months, Vladimir, WildCare’s Wildlife Ambassador Turkey Vulture, was doing some homemaking of his own.

Vladimir has been at WildCare for over 30 years. He was taken from his nest as a fluffy chick, and was raised by a human who quickly realized that an adult Turkey Vulture makes an impossible pet.

That person brought Vlad to WildCare.

Over the years there were multiple attempts to get him ready to return to the wild, but Vladimir appears to have no interest in other Turkey Vultures and he is very attuned to human beings in a way that would mean disaster for a wild bird.

For this reason, Vladimir lives full time in WildCare’s Courtyard as an educational animal.

Vladimir usually exhibits the changes in temperament that are typical of Turkey Vultures during mating season, but this year he demonstrated behaviors that our WildCare team (and all of Vladimir’s devoted fans) have not seen before. Vladimir started nest building!

He also decided to make our Ambassador Program Manager, Melissa, the focus of his attentions, and it is the incredible relationship that Melissa has developed with Vlad that made this video possible.

Enjoy this incredibly rare look at how Turkey Vultures create their nests and listen closely for the sounds Vlad makes as he digs with his feet and gently offers Melissa bits of paper and sticks to supplement “their” nest.

 

 

 

This entry was posted in Wildlife Patient Stories by Alison Hermance.

2 Responses to “Vladimir the Turkey Vulture”

  1. dale

    Do you have any ideas about what might happen if you gave Vlad a viable egg to hatch? I kinda feel bad for the guy, working to make another nest!

    Reply
    • Alison Hermance

      Good question! In the wild, both Turkey Vulture parents incubate the eggs, so Vlad wouldn’t be able to properly hatch an egg on his own. It also isn’t unusual for an egg to not be viable, so that’s something he understands.
      Interestingly we have tried to introduce Vlad to baby Turkey Vulture chicks as a foster parent (or at least a role model) but, unlike our Wildlife Ambassador kestrel, Kele, who is a great foster dad, Vlad shows no interest.

      Reply

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