We describe predictable nocturnal soaring flight in Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura) feeding at a landfill in eastern Pennsylvania. Birds feeding at the landfill returned to their roosts each evening by gaining altitude while soaring in thermals above flared methane vents at the site. Our results highlight behavioral plasticity in this species, which, in part, may explain why Turkey Vultures are so common throughout much of their extensive range.
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Vol. 119 • No. 1