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For a Few weeks Now …

… we’ve had some avian guests on our property: turkey vultures [cathartes aura], aka (turkey) buzzards, if I identify them correctly. They seem to like hanging around on the roof of our house, on the basketball hoop, on our electricity pole, or – their most favorable spot – on of the Mesquite trees behind our old corral. And it was there that I got to take some pictures of them yesterday:

buzzard

Turkey Vulture # 1

I was quite astonished that they let me come so close. They really don’t seem to be afraid.

buzzard

Vulture # 1 – Close-up

I think its neck shows why they’re called “Turkey” buzzards.

buzzard

Vulture # 2 Peeking down at Me

These vultures are very common around here. You frequently meet them on the roads and highway where they clear away the roadkill. A very good description of their appearance and behaviour can be found in Robert Deming’s mystery novelEnchanted Rock Red“, which starts with the following quotation from Edward Abbey:

Let us praise the noble Turkey Vulture: No one envies him; he harms nobody; and he contemplates our little world from a most serene and noble height.”

13 responses to “For a Few weeks Now …

  1. Wow would not see one of them in UK well especially our way x Hope your having a lovely weekend Pitt and gang xxx

    • Well, they’re not bad at all. And they take care of carcasses, especially the roadkill, very well. Keeps the smell at bay. 😉
      Hope your weekend was as good as ours,
      Pit

  2. What a noble looking vulture you captured with photography and I’m glad they keep our roadways clean. I like your 2nd photo with the shadow of the fern on the top of his handsome fellow’s feathers.

  3. Dear Pit,
    great pics! I have never come across those birds, they seem tobe quite big. We only know the turkeys in Merry old England😉
    With a big hug from sunny Norfolk
    Klausbernd

    • Dear Klausbernd,
      Thanks for the praise. This time I was lucky to be able to get that close.
      Btw, wlays when I see them I’m thinking of Karl May, “Unter Geiern”. 😉
      Best regards from southern Texas,
      Pit

  4. If you’re interested in vultures you might check out The Backdoor Artist –
    http://thebackdoorartist.com/?s=turkey+vultures&submit=Search
    They have some videos and posts of baby vultures growing up in one of their trees. Fascinating –

  5. These birds seem to be very common and useful as well. (Just make sure you don’t stand still too long or they might get the wrong idea about you.)

    Thanks for the Enchanted Rock book link. I’m definitely going to read that.

  6. My wife and I lived in central Texas for seven years before moving back to Ohio. We used to have a small 20 lb fluffy white dog that liked sleeping in the sun in the backyard. We had vultures circling over our neighborhood all the time.

    One day I noticed a vulture swooping lower and lower over my sleeping dog. I was about to intervene, when the dog noticed (probably the swoosh of the wings) and put her head up and looked around. The vulture must have realized that its prospective meal was actually alive and and went back up to circling up high.

    • Hi Bob,
      Thanks for taking your time to stop by visiting my blog and for leaving a comment. 🙂 As I replied to MadQueenLinda: I’ll try not to fall asleep outside! 😉
      Best regards to Ohio from southern Texas,
      Pit

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