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Sep 27 2013

My New Neighbors, The Angels Of Death.

Well… they’ve got wings and they are looking over me, anyway.

I discovered this morning that I have new neighbors. I had suspected them earlier, but they keep to themselves. But less than 100 meters from my front door, high in an oak tree, is a family of turkey vultures!Neighbors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think these ones are juveniles; one did his best to look all scary:
Scary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And did his best Angel Of Death imitation:
wings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But he couldn’t fool me–I saw what a sweet, sweet face he has:
face

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to the neighborhood, flying dinosaurs! (Click pics to embiggen!)

11 comments

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  1. 1
    Silva

    Cool. Great pics! I love turkey vultures.

  2. 2
    Nancy New, Queen of your Regulatory Nightmare

    There’s a tree a couple of blocks from my house that seems to be a generational and long-standing buzzard roost–they’ll gather towards evening–40 or 50 of ‘em. Pretty spectacular, though I must admit I’m glad it’s not MY house they’re lurking over.

  3. 3
    Shadowspawn

    Excellent!!!! I’ve seen juveniles at our local wildlife rehabilitator but not free in the wild, much less in my yard!

  4. 4
    busterggi

    I have sparrows in my yard – I feel soooooooo inadequate.

  5. 5
    erratic

    Vultures are verrry good at knowing where the bodies are buried (or not buried). If they’re suddenly hanging around your house there is probably a carcass somewhere nearby, and they will leave after they’ve taken care of it.

  6. 6
    coragyps

    We have a roost across the street from us where maybe 200 TV’s gather every 20th of March. It seems to be the Welcome Station for Scurry County – they disperse over about a month and go to work cleaning up squashed armadillos and the like from our roads.

    I need to start a Buzzard Fest………

  7. 7
    Quodlibet

    Very, very cool.

    I’m reminded of an old Gary Larson cartoon (can’t find an image online at the moment) – it shows a few vultures in a tree, in their typical hunched posture, wearing shades – caption is “Vultures know they’re cool.”

    I love TVs – their flight is just beautiful, as is their slate and silver plumage. Take five minutes to watch one – surely there must be pleasure for them as well!

    BTW – Immature TVs have black heads; adults have red heads.

    A few weeks ago, after a heavy rain, I observed about two dozen TVs walking around a plowed field, eating steadily – I think it might have been earthworms. They are a bit ungainly on the ground, but oh, once they set their wings into the wind — !!

    Late last fall, the big old raccoon that had been living in my neighborhood died – right in the middle of our back yard. I convinced my husband to leave it there, so we could see what would happen. (Nature geek!) Sure enough, we had some TVs come down to eat – first we’ve had IN the yard, though we often see them OVER the yard (there’s a cliff roost nearby). It was very cool to see how they managed to get into the frozen, stiff carcass – via the anus.

    Too bad so many people think vultures are”evil” – of course they are just birds. They happen to eat carrion, which is a good thing.

    There is a trend (reported in the NYT and other places) of making road kill into human dinner. OK, but leave some for the carrion-eaters.

  8. 8
    had3

    Quodilbet: I remember the cartoon as saying “birds of prey know they’re cool,” and I thought they were generic birds, I.e., hawks/eagles.

  9. 9
    octopod

    Vultures are awesome. I love how they look all dark and hunched and ominous and “Angel of Death”-y from a distance, but then when you look at them up close they’ve got a cute wrinkly dorky little face like a bald Muppet.

  10. 10
    A Wandering Minstrel

    That’s awesome, and great pics!

  11. 11
    Quodlibet

    had3, yes, that was it! I remembered it incorrectly. The cartoon in question is easily found with your correct caption. They are indeed hawks (not eagles), one with … a boom box. :-)

    thanks!

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