Cathartes auraSammy

Family

  • Cathartidae

Common Name

  • Turkey Vulture

Lifespan

  • Oldest known specimen: 20.8 years
  • Average Wild Lifespan: 10-17 years

Size

  • Length: 25-32 inches
  • Wingspan: 67-72 inches
  • Weight: 2-4.5 pounds

Range

  • Ranging from the Southern border of Canada all the way to the Southern-most tip of South America.

Habitat

  • Open and forested areas.
  • Turkey Vultures are well adapted to living in any environment with a supply of carrion.

Diet

  • Fresh carrion of small animals is preferred, but they will also eat larger animals that have decayed longer, rotten fruits and vegetables, and domestic animal dung

Reproduction

  • Yearly breeding season between March and June in North America
  • 1-3 eggs per season
  • 30-40 days incubation for an egg to hatch
  • 70-80 days before young are fledgling
  • 80-90 days to independent offspring

Interesting Facts

  • Turkey Vultures are one of very few birds that rely on their sense of smell to locate food.
  • Because of their keen sense of smell, Black Vultures, another species of vulture, will follow Turkey Vultures around to steal food from them.
  • Based on their wing surface to weight ratio Turkery Vultures have light wing loading. This makes them more buoyant in air meaning they can use thermals more effectively while using less energy to stay adrift in air longer than other birds.

Conservation Status

  • CITES – Not Listed
  • IUCN –Least Concern

Sources

  1. AnAge: The Animal Aging and Longevity Database. Accessed September 2016. http://genomics.senescence.info/species/query.php?search=turkey%20vulture
  2. Animal Diversity Web. Turkey Vultures. Accessed September 2016 http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Cathartes_aura/
  3. Appendices I, II, and III of CITES. (February 5, 2015) Accessed September 2016. http://www.cites.org/eng/app/appendices.php
  4. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. (2015) Accessed September 2016. http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/search

**All animal information is meant to be an educational resource. It may not include all the latest scientific information. Though we edit our information we cannot guarantee the accuracy of all facts presented.

Job Opportunities

Admissions

Admissions staff is responsible for selling admission tickets and ride tickets, maintaining a balanced cash drawer, checking in incoming groups, managing rentals of accessibility equipment. Requires proficiency with computers.

Concessions

Concessions staff prepare and sell the concession food and drinks, maintain a balanced cash drawer, and clean and sanitize the kitchen equipment.

Exhibit Educators

Exhibit educators greet visitors with a smiling face and facilitate safe interactions within our animal contact areas; the goat yard, the kangaroo walkabout, and the aviary.

Grounds

Grounds staff are responsible for cleaning, maintaining, and closing the facilities. Including cleaning bathrooms, walkways, emptying trash/recycling bins, mowing lawns, etc. Requires proficiency with small engine equipment such as lawn mowers.

Rides

Ride operators conduct the train and carousel while facilitating a safe environment for visitors on the rides and ensuring visitors treat the equipment with respect. Must be at least 18 years old to operate rides.

Zoo Store

Zoo store employees are responsible for handling the sales of zoo merchandise from our gift shop, maintaining a balanced cash drawer, and restocking merchandise. Requires proficiency with computers.

 

Download Job Application (PDF)

 

Interested applicants should fill out the application below and mail to or drop off in person at:

The Children's Zoo at Celebration Square
1730 S. Washington Ave
Saginaw, MI 48601 

 

 

Volunteer

Animal Commissary

Volunteering with this program gives you opportunities to prepare extra tasty animal diets and enrichment for the animals! You will get to work alongside our very knowledgeable and friendly Animal Care Team!  Volunteers in this position will not be working individually with animals, but with increased commitment they would be able to discuss progressing towards animal care.

Conservation

Do you like hands-on, active experiences?  Don’t mind getting dirty?  Get involved in wildlife and habitat conservation!  Contribute to community, national, and global impact while helping to spread our conservation message.  Assist with habitat improvement, perform wildlife monitoring and tracking, inspire current and future natural stewards, and enjoy the natural resources all around us!  Prior experiences is not necessary --- we accept everyone!

Education

Assist with outreach programs, participate in amphitheater shows, be a counselor at a zoo camp, and more. Requires a consistent time commitment on the same days of the week for a couple hours at a time because of the nature of the programs. 

Gardens

Our beautiful gardens don't just happen, it takes a whole team of volunteers to maintain! Garden volunteers weed the gardens, trim shrubberies, and water. A gardening schedule is made in advance for the season, however, once trained, volunteer gardeners may come when they wish to work at their leisure.

Grounds

Do you enjoy working with your hands while outside on a beautiful day? Grounds maintenance is for you! Mowing lawns, weed whipping, assisting in general maintenance of the facilities. No specific time commitment required!

Rides

Conduct the famous Zoo train or operate the region’s only hand-carved carousel. Ride operators conduct the train and carousel while facilitating a safe environment for visitors on the rides, and ensuring visitors treat the equipment with respect. Requires a regular commitment of at least 4 hours at a time. To ensure a safe ride for everyone; you must be 18 years of age to operate the rides.

Special Events

Did you have an amazing time at one of our events? Events happen because of the dedication of volunteers. From working booths, to helping set up the facilities, we can always use an extra set of hands on our busiest days. Perfect for volunteers that want to volunteer only once or twice a month.

Zoo Crew

Teenagers are welcome to participate in our Zoo Crew program. More information is located HERE

Zoo Store

Kids, candy, toys and smiles are what the Zoo Store is all about! If you enjoy helping kids of all ages satisfy a sweet tooth or find just the right little plush penguin or slithery lizard toy to take home, you’ll enjoy volunteering in the Zoo Store. Whether you have lots of time or just a little bit, we’d love to have your smiling face and helping hands making our visitors happy. Zoo store volunteers are responsible for handling the sales of zoo merchandise from our gift shop, maintaining a balanced cash drawer, and restocking merchandise. Proficiency with computers is required.

 

Volunteer now!

Click the above link to register with our volunteer system online.  Don’t like computers? 

Call (989) 759-1408 or e-mail Emily@saginawzoo.com and we’ll make it easy!

Internships

Animal Collections Internship

Animal Collection Internships offer the opportunity to gain an understanding of what it takes to maintain a vibrant animal collection in a zoological park setting. Internship positions are considered volunteers.

 

Animal Collections Internship Posting

 

Education Internship

The education internship provides hands-on experience for participants to gain transferable skills in the education field. Internship positions are considered volunteers.

 

Education Internship 2017

 

If you are seeking an internship for a different department, please send a letter briefly describing the type and requirements of the internship to:

Children's Zoo at Celebration Square
Attn: Zoo Internships
1730 S. Washington Ave.
Saginaw, MI 48601