International Vulture Awareness Day

Today is International Vulture Awareness Day.

I’m trying to figure out how to celebrate it. My wife is away all day, but when she comes home for dinner, maybe I should serve up some roadkill? Someone has to have a better suggestion.


  1. says

    The best way would be to do a little research on these vital members of the world’s ecology. (India is a good example).
    Not really a joking matter.

  2. Walter Solomon says

    Display a pile of rotting carcasses being picked apart by diseased dogs since this is what much of the tropics would look like without vultures.

  3. Doubting Thomas says

    Woah! How did we miss this? A day dedicated to our fly buddies. I, as an avid Hang gliding and Paragliding pilot, for one love our ugly friends. They’re not ugly in the air. Sometimes they will save a flight for us. Sometimes they just tease us with what they can do. We who love soaring can’t help but love our raptor mentors.

  4. vucodlak says

    I have objected before to calling venture capitalists “vulture capitalists*” for the simple reason that it is extremely insulting to an exceptionally important bird. In general, I don’t care for the practice of insulting and demeaning scavengers, as they fill an important ecological role, but I have a special love vultures. They’re just… awesome.

    I wish there was some way to protect them from cars and trucks. I’m hopeful that, when the insurance companies eventually make self-driving vehicles mandatory (decades off, I’m afraid), they will be programed to avoid hitting animals in the road if at all possible.

    *A far more apt comparison would be to a writhing mass of disease-ridden ticks that preys on weakened animals, dragging them down under their sheer weight and sucking them dry, before then abandoning the poor dead creature in search of another unfortunate host.

  5. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    Display a pile of rotting carcasses being picked apart by diseased dogs since this is what much of the tropics would look like without vultures.

    Frankly that’s a better metaphor for predatory capitalism.

  6. says

    Doubting Thomas:

    They’re not ugly in the air.

    They aren’t ugly on the ground, either. They are quite beautiful birds.

  7. says

    I saw a dead deer on the road about a mile from my house. I’m sure that, by tomorrow, there will be a few vultures working on cleaning up the mess.

    For some reason, the locals don’t hurt them, probably because there are a lot of hunters and they see the vultures as clean-up for their ‘fun’ – but they sometimes shoot crows.

    The story is that the vultures learned to follow Genghis Khan’s troops, because the humans always left a mess. I suppose that any day where humans are killing eachother, which is every day, is a day for vultures.

  8. methuseus says

    I protect my chickens from them, and I give them a fairly wide berth. I don’t bother them, and they don’t bother me. The hawks around here kill the huge squirrels we have, and half the time a pair or more of vultures will steal the kill from the hawk. It’s definitely interesting.

  9. jrkrideau says

    Turkey vultures can be a bit disconcerting in large numbers. Several years ago, on an early spring day just as the last of the snow was melting, I was cycling into the nearest village.

    When I reached the top of the hill overlooking the village I was startled to see a large flock of vultures circling over a very quiet village.

    Plague! Alien attack! Oh, wait, cleanup time as the snow disappears. The flock was probably no more than 30 or 40 birds but Alfred Hitchcock would have liked the scene.

  10. kevinalexander says

    Jut last week I was riding home and looked up to see a veritable tornado of turkey vultures, too many to count, at least a hundred, all in the same thermal. They’re starting to migrate and congregate on the same aerial pathways.
    I’m going to try to time my sky burial for spring or fall to help them out.

  11. davidc1 says

    Hi ,Doc ,didn’t a few years back you said that having your remains eaten by Vultures is your preferred method of shuffling off this mortal coil ?.

  12. mountainbob says

    I was kvetching (with good humor) about having a snake crap on me while returning animals to the education barn at the zoo one day after an outreach program to a school. The senior Veterinarian was there tending to an elderly critter and overheard me. She said, “Bob, you haven’t lived until you’ve had a vulture vomit on you!” Settled my hash for sure.

  13. mountainbob says

    Responding to davidc just above: Eating of the corpse by vultures is the formal method employed by Jains (an East Indian religion. Their dead are displayed on platforms in a special park inside an extinct volcano near Mumbai. Their vultures are threatened, in a perfect example of unintended consequences, by eating the carcasses of cows that had been treated with birth control pills.

    In classical Egypt, vultures were referred to as the Pharos’ chickens, and were not to be disturbed or killed on penalty of death. The vultures were understood to be public health workers in those primitive times..

  14. davidc1 says

    Hi @20 i know the doc told us lol..The Jains interest me ,if i ever ,ever catch the religious bug ,i
    think that would be the one for me .
    In the olden days Red Kites used to perform the same service in GB .

  15. davidc1 says

    “You can peck all you like ,you are not getting my eyes”,that is the punch line to
    a very rude joke .

  16. kevskos says

    We had in the past and appear to be regaining a large roost of turkey vultures in our neighborhood. At times it numbered over 100. They got chased out by a family of blue herons. They co-existed for the first year and a half but blue herons are loud, fly in and out all times of the night and started chasing the vultures off. Sort of like the redneck of birds. The blue herons diapered last winter and the vultures are returning.

  17. rjeffers says

    Vultures cool off by defecating onto their legs. I think it goes without saying how I’ll be celebrating Vulture Awareness Day next year.