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We NEED to talk about the 'Turkey Vulture Dimension'

I am no astrophysicist or rocket scientist, but something strange happens when Turkey Vultures suddenly vanish in the middle of a clear, blue sky.

A Turkey Vulture migrates on a spring morning.
A Turkey Vulture migrates on a spring morning. Or is it in another dimension?! (Eery music plays.)

You might think this is some strange conspiracy or maybe that this article is a joke. You would be correct. Would be, if... wait, we should not discuss that yet.

Before you join our Turkey Vulture conspiracy, join our Flocking Around conspiracy. It is all of the fun without any of the scariness.

To fully understand what AND how the Turkey Vulture Dimension (TVD) works, we must first break down the individual parts of this theory. We will begin with what a dimension is.

What is a Turkey Vulture?

The Turkey Vulture is the most widespread member of the order Cathartiformes, which are the New World vultures and condors. The members of this order are restricted to North and South America but are often erroneously compared to the buzzards, griffons, and vultures of the Old World, which are unrelated.

The Turkey Vulture is a scavenging species that rarely kills any organism of any size. They find carcasses using olfactory senses, aka smell. While all birds can smell to some extent, Turkey Vultures are known for their INCREDIBLE sense of smell. They have a highly developed olfactory sense, allowing them to sense certain chemicals given off by freshly dead animals. In fact, early studies on this species' ability to smell resulted from natural gas companies being required to mix ethyl mercaptan in the gas to give off an odor when leaking. The companies would often follow Turkey Vultures to help find leaks in pipelines, as the vultures would circle near the gas leaks.


Learn more about the smelling ability of birds!

The Secret Perfume of Birds being held in Zach's hands.

While commonly seen, this species of vulture is not as well studied as many might believe. Their breeding ecology, wintering ecology, and other natural history aspects only come from a few studies.

A Turkey Vulture sits on a rock ledge.
A simple Turkey Vulture, or an interdimensional traveler?

What is a dimension?

According to, dimensions are the different facets of what we perceive to be reality. For most humans, the world around us that we recognize has three dimensions of space and one dimension of time. Of course, after reading this article, you may begin to assume that I am a few dimensions off of normal. Fair assumption. I stare at birds for fun. I cannot be too normal!

How many dimensions exist?

In our world, we recognize length, width, depth, and time. However, many scientists with brains far more curly than mine suggest there may be more dimensions out there. One such theory, known as Superstring Theory, states that the universe operates with at least 10 dimensions! T-E-N! So, where are these other six dimensions, and why do we not experience them?

As I stated at the beginning of this article, we have no astrophysicists or theoretical physicists on staff here at Flocking Around. Further explaining this theory and how it applies to our TVD becomes difficult. Therefore, I will offer the most simplified flocking version of this idea possible. To this flocking guy, at least. (Please note, my humor is not limited to bird, fart, and pun jokes. In theory, my theoretical physics humor is top-notch. Your ability to comprehend it is too one-dimensional.)

A Turkey Vulture is seen flying over the Grand Canyon.
A Turkey Vulture flies over the Grand Canyon. Or does it?

According to Superstring Theory (or what I can comprehend from a quick search and read), the fifth and sixth dimensions would likely be where possible worlds arise. In theory, if a Turkey Vulture could see and utilize these dimensions, the bird would have the ability to travel through time that has already occurred in our world, as well as travel through a variety of possible futures. Dimensions seven through nine are intriguing; however, the tenth dimension is the place where everything is possible and imaginable. If Turkey Vultures, with their superior regurgitative ability, could tap into dimensions 5, 6, or 10, it would provide opportunities for the disappearing Turkey Vulture.


Learn why birds like Turkey Vultures are critical to the world!

"Why Birds Matter" book held by Zach's hand.

How do Turkey Vultures access the TVD?

This is where we need input from Stephen HAWKing or Neil deGRASSQUIT Tyson. Maybe there is an astrornithophysicist out there that can further develop this idea, but until that area of study is created, we will have to flocking do.

One reason offered for why humans can perceive and experience only four dimensions is due to these other dimensions being compactified on a very small scale. This further supports our theory of Turkey Vultures using a different dimension. How? Simple. When a Turkey Vulture lists lazily in the sky, it can often turn its body and become near invisible to invisible. You could offer perspective as a reasonable solution to this problem. I would agree with you, but a further movement by Turkey Vultures is where we would diverge in opinion and dimension. After this banking movement, many a birder has faced the quandary of our TVD. The Turkey Vulture, mid-bank, disappears and does not re-appear.

A Turkey Vulture flies toward a black hole, graphically overlaid on the image.
Do Turkey Vultures simply fly into a different dimension? This photo might prove it so.

How does this piece together with the reason humans cannot perceive other dimensions? Size. I propose that instead of Turkey Vultures simply opening a rift between dimensions, they quickly shrink in size when banking, small enough to pass through the tiny black holes (created by protons smashing together at high speeds) to the 5th or 6th dimension (or possibly the 10th). Still confused? Perhaps the graphic below will help.

Another joke image of a Turkey Vulture flying through a black hole.
Notice how the Turkey Vulture shrinks in size to enter these tiny black holes to other dimensions.

The Turkey Vulture is able to smell other dimensions using its enlarged and enhanced olfactory senses. Upon discovery of other dimensions during thermal riding (where greater proton collisions can happen), this red-headed vulture contorts and compactifies its body, zipping through the black hole and departing our view and world.

However, I have no evidence to support my suggestion of a shrinking vulture outside of the image provided above. This will require deeper study by astrornithophysicists, the not-yet-newly-formed study of interdimensional bird travel. I urge potential astrornithopysicists to comment on their interest in this field below.


While this theory is the soundest conclusion I have derived, some might say that I am simply bad at tracking soaring birds. Or my binoculars are dirty. Of course, there is the possibility that the vultures were never there at all...

Did Zach...

  • Discover Turkey Vulture Interdimensional Travel?

  • Simply lose track of the Turkey Vulture?

  • Lose his ever-loving mind?

PS - Please do not take this article seriously. Unless you are really into conspiracies. Then share this far and wide. We will not turn down site traffic, even from the weirdies.


Thank you for reading! We put a lot of work, thought, and heart into these posts. We want to improve the lives of birds while helping you enjoy the birds we positively impact.

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