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Turkey vultures spreading their wings on a new day

By Gary Bogue
Tuesday, October 18th, 2011 at 6:17 am in Turkey vultures.

A turkey vulture takes off while another stands on a limb and spreads its wings in the morning sunlight. Photo by Dave Harper, Oakley, CA
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How turkey vultures survive in the wild

Turkey vultures pick up a lot of bacteria on their feathers while feeding on dead carcasses of animals. One way they deal with this is to spread their wings in the morning sun so the ultraviolet radiation can kill some of that bacteria.

When vultures urinate, the acidic urine sprays down on their legs and feet (turning them white), killing bacteria the birds pick up while standing on dead carcasses.

Mother Nature — What a clever lady. /Gary

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