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What’s difference between turkey, black vultures?

It takes a closer look to identify which vultures are problems around the farm.

Mindy Ward, Editor, Missouri Ruralist

June 12, 2024

1 Min Read
Line drawing illustration of two vultures beak to beak
FACE-TO-FACE: Knowing the difference between a turkey vulture and black vulture is hard when they are in flight. But get them on the ground and you should be able to pencil in the differences. perysty/Getty Images

Missouri is known for its relatively harmless turkey vulture. However, its menace, the black vulture, threatens the state’s livestock industry as an aggressive predator, attacking and killing live animals.

While there is help for livestock producers to mitigate the threat of black vultures, it is important to make the correct identification before removal:

Infographic outlining the difference between turkey and black vultures

passion4nature/Getty Images - Juvenile turkey vulture

About the Author(s)

Mindy Ward

Editor, Missouri Ruralist

Mindy resides on a small farm just outside of Holstein, Mo, about 80 miles southwest of St. Louis.

After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism, she worked briefly at a public relations firm in Kansas City. Her husband’s career led the couple north to Minnesota.

There, she reported on large-scale production of corn, soybeans, sugar beets, and dairy, as well as, biofuels for The Land. After 10 years, the couple returned to Missouri and she began covering agriculture in the Show-Me State.

“In all my 15 years of writing about agriculture, I have found some of the most progressive thinkers are farmers,” she says. “They are constantly searching for ways to do more with less, improve their land and leave their legacy to the next generation.”

Mindy and her husband, Stacy, together with their daughters, Elisa and Cassidy, operate Showtime Farms in southern Warren County. The family spends a great deal of time caring for and showing Dorset, Oxford and crossbred sheep.

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