Partially Leucistic Turkey Vulture

Hello All – These photos are of the partially leucistic Turkey Vulture that was perched in my yard the morning of July 24th. The location was at the intersection of Purer Road and Vista de la Cresta overlooking Lake Hodges in Escondido. It’s was not here the next morning though. You may want to read Phil Unitt’s comment below.  – Tracy Henchbarger

Dear Tracy,

Great pictures! The vulture with the gray head is a juvenile. The bird with white feathers is partially leucistic, as happens from time to time in almost any species of bird. On 28 August 1908 Harry Swarth was at Hemet and wrote in his field notes, “Mr. Morse told us that a white Turkey Buzzard with a black ring around his neck had been seen about town a number of times.”

I just got back from a 2-week vacation birding in Panama! Among my observations there was of a Turkey Vulture eating palm fruit fallen on the ground, something I’d never seen previously.

Thanks much,


Philip Unitt
Editor, Western Birds



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