Turkey Vultures are new world vultures from the Americas. They were so named because their bald red heads and dark plumage resemble those of turkeys. Like many other vultures, they have bald heads as a hygienic adaptation to scavenging carrion. Bald heads are easier to keep clean and so reduce the chances of the bird becoming infected. They use thermal air currents to fly, keeping themselves aloft with minimal effort. They have great vision and smell, and fly low enough that they can detect the gases that decaying carcasses give off.