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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Vultures

April 12: A Black Vulture flew through the back yard three times. I think it was looking for a place to nest, or maybe something to eat.

I'll never forget the first time I saw Turkey Vultures. Riding on a country road in Fayette County, western Tennessee, we went around a curve and there were several right there at the edge of the road on my side. What a start that was! WOW were they ugly! - and big. It was hard to believe those poor, ugly creatures are the same ones I love to watch, fascinated by their beautiful, subtle curve of wing.

Never the less, when I see Vultures floating on thermals or updrafts and gliding in air, I can't help but envy them; they look so free and detached from the world below - and its troubles. Their floating gracefulness makes it look effortless.

My favorite time to watch them is in the spring during "family time", I guess. I don't know a lot about them; they seem to be solitary most of the year, but in spring it is not unusual to see a family of two or more in what appears to be a playful, slow, gliding aerial ballet. It is beautiful to watch. And, I can only imagine the exuberant joy in the breasts of the young ones new to that life in the sky.

11 comments:

Sue Swift said...

Wow - when I saw the title I thought it was going to be metaphorical. You really have vultures in Kentucky? I associate them with Africa and desert areas. That must win this month's "birds in the garden" award!

Barbee' said...

Yes, indeed, we do have two kinds of vultures in the eastern United States. They are nature's housekeepers and clean up the environment of carrion. A very useful service, that I don't often want to think about. Yuk!

Esther Montgomery said...

This vulture certainly looks more beautiful in the air than I could have imagined. (Having only seen photos and videos of them jumping around on the ground - and eating!)

I hope your vultures continue ok.

In one part of India, they are dieing out because a pain-killer given to cows kills the vultures when eat the carcase after the cow has died.

They are so important, as you say, as 'nature's housekeepers', there is now a special programme in which farmers are given a different medication for their cows - and when these cows die, their carcases are taken to a special area which serves as a 'vulture restaurant'.

The vultures (waiting in the trees) swoop down and strip the cow to a skeleton in less than half an hour - and their numbers are increasing.

(The medication is banned too now.)

Esther
http://estherinthegarden.blogspot.com/

p.s hope things are going well.

Barbee' said...

Esther, thank you for your contribution on this subject. Very, very informative and interesting. I had read about the problem with birds being poisoned like that. It is a grim worry how masses of birds are dying from one cause or another.

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

We always saw them gliding around our families ranch in central Texas. The provided one of my first lessons in how nature really works, the good, the bad, and the really really ugly.

Old Wom Tigley said...

Hello Barbee
Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment on my Moss Facts post.. I am glad you found it of interest.
I am glad I called here as you do have a great blog, love all the flowers you have on show. I liked the ones growing in the old boots.
tom

Marie said...

Your blog is very beautiful!

Marie said...

I saw a big eagle today, but I didn't have my camera with me at the time.

ladyluz said...

Such a magical picture of the woods, Barbee. Really beautiful. And wow to the vultures. I've only ever seen them in American Westerns and associate them with circling round dead bodies. Must learn a bit more about them.

Lets Plant said...

I wish I could fly too!! However when I installed windshields they were the #1 reason why!

Barbee' said...

Great comments everyone, Thank You.