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Our native turkey vulture

Making It Grow Radio Minute
SC Public Radio

Our native turkey vulture has almost no negative consequences associated with its behavior. Due to its amazing sense of smell, it can locate decaying animal remains from a mile away, even under trees.

Although it prefers fresher food, it must wait for some decay to occur as it’s beak can’t easily penetrate intact hides. They really are important decomposers of dead animals, so many which are killed by cars. Almost every day on my ride to Sumter I’ll see these birds feasting at the body of a deer, domestic pet, racoon or other animal sadly killed by a vehicle. They do wait until the last minute to fly away from their meal; sometimes it seems like you are going to run into them. Infrequently, accidents to happen so I slow down and if safe move away from the birds.

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Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.