The turkey vulture (Cathartes aura), a historic resident of Pennsylvania, and the black vulture (Coragyps atratus), a recent immigrant, are present in the state throughout the year. Turkey vultures have become increasingly abundant throughout the Northeast and black vultures have extended their range northward into Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania during the past 50 years. Property damage and nuisance problems have been attributed to both species. Livestock predation problems have been attributed to black vultures, and both species jeopardize aircraft safety when in or around airport environments and are involved in wildlife-aircraft collisions (bird strikes).
The turkey vulture is the larger of the two species, with an average weight of four pounds and a wingspan up to six feet. It is predominantly dark brown-black with a featherless, bright red (adult) or brown (juvenile) head and a relatively long, narrow tail. The undersides of the wings are gray except along the leading edges, which are black. The black vulture weighs less than four pounds and has a wingspan of less than five feet. It is also predominantly black including a dark gray to black head (juvenile and adult).
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