BUZZARD. The turkey-buzzard is the scavenger of the South. He works for just his board and his whole family help him ; and they are protected by law and given the freedom of the town and country.
In some southern cit ies these birds, which are related to the vulture, are seen walking about the streets ready to claim any decaying flesh or bit of offal.
In the country, as far north as Mani toba and westward to California, buz zards congregate in numbers about dead animals. As Uncle Remus says, "All de buzzards in de set tlement'll come to de gray mule's funer'l." The turkey- buz zard's most remarkable characteristic is his keen vis ion. His eyesight is many times more powerful than that of man. Flying so high that he is almost out of sight, a buzzard will suddenly swoop down onto a dead animal, no larger than a cat, which he has been able to see from that great distance.
The turkey-buzzards are about two feet long, with a wing span of five to six feet. At close range they are very ugly, for they have rusty black untidy feathers, a bare head and neck, and a slow stupid manner. But when seen poised in mid-air, with out spread motionless wings, the buzzard is so imposing that one forgets his repulsive habits. (For illustra tion in colors see Birds.) Besides the turkey-buzzard, which is a member of the vulture family, the name "buzzard" is given to various hawks of quite different appearance and habit (see Hawk).
Scientific name of turkey-buzzard, Cathartes aura septen trionalis; black buzzard, Catharista urubu.