Destiny Defined – Buzzard

Destiny Armory Defined archive entry

Circle 'round, great harbinger of death.


Basic Information

Link to Item

Released: Destiny 2: Shadowkeep

Rarity: Legendary

Category: Weapon

Weapon SubCategory: Kinetic / Primary

Weapon Archetype: Sidearm

Weapon Perks: Extended Barrel; Alloy Magazine; Outlaw; Osmosis

Intrinsic Trait: Adaptive Frame

Affiliations: Vanguard

Additional / Expanded Information

Buzzard: North American Turkey Vulture (cathartes aura)

The word vulture likely comes from the Latin vellere, which means to pluck or tear. The scientific name cathartes aura, means “golden purifier” or “purifying breeze.”

Definition Summary

Medium to large hawks with broad wings ideal for soaring on thermal currents and prefer living prey, the buzzard is known in the UK as a type of hawk, specifically, buteos. When European settlers first colonized New England and other parts of North America, they gave familiar names to unfamiliar birds. This is the origin for how North America came to know the turkey vulture as it’s more common name, the buzzard.

Early colonists called the large, soaring birds they noticed “buzzards” because they looked similar to the flight patterns of the buzzards in Europe. Turkey Vultures are large dark birds with long, broad wings. Bigger than many other raptors except eagles and condors, they have long “fingers” at their wingtips and long tails that extend past their toe tips in flight. Turkey Vultures hold their wings slightly raised, making a ‘V’ shape from the front. They are dark brown with a featherless red head and pale bill. The Turkey Vulture uses its sense of smell to locate carrion and can detect dead animals below a forest canopy.

Buzzards are a known as “harbingers of death and destruction’ in many folkloric tales, however not everyone sees vultures this way. To several cultures they are thought to be sacred for their role in cleaning up decay.

A scavenger bird which rides thermals in the sky using a highly developed sense of smell to circle and find fresh carcasses to consume. They are invaluable ecologically, as they clean up carcasses and help prevent the spread of diseases to other wildlife.

Vultures are the bald-headed scavenging bird whose diet consists of eating carrion. Buzzards and vultures are often mistaken for completely different species. 23 vulture species have been discovered around the world, which consist of two distinct groups, Cathartidae and Accipitridae.

Tibetan Buddhists practice “sky burials,” where animals, usually vultures, consume their dead. Similarly, Native Americans also practice this tradition. In these rituals, Vultures are viewed as a precious animal that can help release the soul from the body. 

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