So is there an uglier bird in the Americas? I'm hard pressed to think so, and the Turkey Vulture's role in nature as a prime eater of dead things doesn't exactly endear this bird to most people's hearts.
But the Turkey Vulture is an important contributor to the life cycle of nature. That featherless head and strange bone-colored beak are super efficient when it comes to sticking its head into the bodies of carrion.
If you're a Turkey Vulture fan, you'll want to know about The Turkey Vulture Society where you can learn more and buy T-shirts and hats and pins -- and even an "I Brake For Carrion" bumper sticker. http://vulturesociety.homestead.com/
Speaking of its featherless head and strange bone-colored beak, let's take a closer look, shall we? Ever seen a Turkey Vulture tongue? Now you have: