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:













And did his best Angel Of Death imitation:










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









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


  1. Nancy New, Queen of your Regulatory Nightmare says

    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.

  2. Shadowspawn says

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

  3. erratic says

    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.

  4. coragyps says

    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………

  5. says

    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.

  6. had3 says

    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.

  7. octopod says

    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.

  8. says

    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. :-)


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