Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Close Encounter with a Turkey Vulture

I was just driving down the road when I saw a group of Turkey Vultures in the ditch.  They've got great eyesight, and usually fly away quickly, but this time one stayed behind, giving me the best look I've ever had at a Turkey Vulture up close.

The vulture was just standing on the dry grass out in the open, where I could easily get a picture.

As you can see, the snow is melting here, especially out in the sun, though it's still 1-2 feet deep in the bush.

The vultures returned about a week ago, and we will see them flying overhead every day for the next 6 months, holding their wings in that shallow 'V' formation, and just gliding in the breeze.  Often the first we notice them is when their shadow passes over the ground nearby.  When flying, they have a wingspan of up to 6 feet, so they're one of the largest birds we see here.

I wondered why this one wasn't leaving, and then I realized, of course there must be a meal nearby.  Having just returned from a long migration, they're also probably hungry.  This one certainly wasn't about to leave his free meal behind.

It's a racoon I think - hope you enjoy your dinner!

This isn't the exciting observation I mentioned yesterday; you'll have to return tomorrow for that.  But I've never before really had a good opportunity to join Wild Bird Wednesday.  I think this qualifies.


14 comments:

  1. We have turkey vultures and black vultures. I prefer the black ones because there's something unsettling about that red face!

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  2. I cannot help but feel sorry for the racoon, he was probably having a lovely day in the sunshine till Mr Vulture came along, But what a find for you, great photos. Cheers, Jean.

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  3. Very cool to see a vulture up close and personal!

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  4. Vultures do have their purpose, of course.

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  5. What a wonderful opportunity for you to capture these shots and with the Vultures dinner!

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  6. Neat shots of the Vultures. I see both the Turkey and Black Vultures here! Have a great day!

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  7. Wow - cool shots of the vulture. We should be seeing them here shortly as well.

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  8. I've only seen them close enough to get that head a few times. Great pix!

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  9. Awesome shots! A very impressive bird.

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  10. A face only a mother could love!! Nice to see one up close. I see them often flying high in the air. They are so graceful when flying.
    Terrific shots!!

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  11. Wow, I've never seen one closer than a 100 feet in the air! Great photos. I don't know if that was a road kill it was dining on but I saw 2 raccoons and 2 skunks dead on the road today! We still have 3 feet of snow and 5 foot snowbanks everywhere so I don't know where they are coming from.

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