Typical Vulture Appearance The two most common species of vultures found in the United States are the turkey vulture and the black-headed vulture. Substantial in size, these pests are either dark brown or black in color, with lighter plumage on the underside of their wings and a head devoid of feathers. Vultures can grow over two feet in length and weigh more than four pounds. The most recognizable characteristic of these birds are their five-to-six-feet wingspans, which they use to soar high above the ground while scavenging. Problems Caused A circling vulture usually indicates the presence of a dead or dying animal nearby. Turkey vultures are expert scavengers, utilizing their keen eyesight and highly developed sense of smell to find food. Unlike their cousins, black vultures have been known to attack young livestock and may even attempt to take small pets. Due to their large wingspans and tendency to soar on high thermals, vultures are commonly mistaken for eagles, hawks, and condors. The tell-tale teetering as they fly, as well as their pronounced "V" shape when they're seen head-on, is a good way to identify vultures from other flying pests. Control & Removal The best way to keep vultures away is to promptly remove any dead animals found on the property. Keeping an eye on small pets when they're out in the yard is also recommended if vultures have been spotted in the area. From time to time, vultures may enter outbuildings and barns to roost or nest. A large gathering of these pests can also lead to an accumulation of droppings that contaminate drinking water and cause respiratory illnesses. Since vultures are protected by federal law and can be considered dangerous due to their sharp beaks and talons, contact the professionals at Critter Control for safe identification and removal.