Turkey Vultures are rather common breeding residents on the Navajo Nation. They nest on high cliffs, and can often be seen flying over the flat, open desertlands while in search of food. Turkey vultures are scavengers and feed on carrion. They roost and nest in groups, but often forage individually during the day. They are amazingly able to fly long distances in search of food, using very little energy to do so. Unlike many bird species, these vultures have an excellent sense of smell for finding dead, decaying animals.
Turkey Vultures are called Jeesho'o' in the Navajo language, which means 'combed hair'. According to oral history, the vulture is a member of the large bird family that ate dead meat and tends to bring bad luck. Their feathers may still be used in at least one Navajo Ceremony.