Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Day 1: Turkey Vultures

Vulture on a roost. I adjusted the contrast so it's wing feathers would stand out.

You would have thought there was an AIG executive on the side of the road near Montezuma’s Well for all the Vultures circling. As you might guess from their featherless heads, these boys know that bald is in, Turkey Vultures (Cathartees aura) feed on carrion. It has been a long time since I have seen a Vulture up close, so I could not resist snapping a few photos. Most of the time I see Vultures high in the sky riding thermals, their flight feathers a dead giveaway.

Vultures in flight. Note the spread wing-tip flight feathers and identifying V-shaped stance.

What I did not know was that Vultures tend to roost in groups, breed in caves, and will regurgitate a foul smelling mash of undigested carrion in threatened. Maybe bald is not so in.


Anonymous said...

Hello name is Michelle. I am currently living in Wards Brook, Nova Scotia ( a little village about 15 mins outside of Parrsboro) and had a group of visitors in our back yard. My grandmother feeds the local birds table scraps and such, and today we seen something amazing, we thought at first it was a rooster because of its head, but after taking pictures and looking researching this beautiful bird, we now know it is a turkey vulture. There is 3 in the group, and they were sorrowing overhead for long periods of time, and eating what we would put out..they were HUGE!!! anyways, if you are interested in the pics let me know...WOW!

sylvia murphy said...

Hi Michelle,

They are amazing. I first encountered a Turkey Vulture chomping on road kill a few feet from me on a walk near my home in California. I think I was a Freshman in high school at the time. I felt like an old-style British naturalist discovering something for the first time.

By the way, how did you discover this blog? Was it because of my Nova Scotia posts? I certainly enjoyed my trip there.