Turkey Vultures

Amazing animals soar through the sky all day long making it appear effortless, others look as if they are working as hard as a Coal Miner. The Starlings are always entertaining even though they are an invasive species, at this point what does it matter? I am a fan of all birds for various reasons, the Starlings I like to pronounce like a Texan Cowboy with the drawl, Stalin’s sounds like Darlin’s.

Vultures rank amongst the best flyers forever riding the thermal updraft barely moving their wings. They are easy to identify in a few ways, when observed from below them their under wings expose what I call their telltale human cross. On the leading edge of their wings a black band stretches from tip to tip, 4 feet is a typical wingspan.

Their flight is seemingly unsteady, tipping from wing tip to wing tip appearing much like a high-wire performer’s long balancing pole. It’s not that they are unsteady it’s the slow speeds in which they soar. Barely keeping aloft by all appearances when in reality they are partaking in their endless quest for fallen prey.

When taking to the air they pound their wings as a bicyclist making its way up a steep hill eager to gain the top. Making altitude within a few strong beats they continue to search from great heights. Sometimes joined not only by several of their own species but Hawks and Falcons have been seen sharing air space along with them.

Silently soaring above us they go about their business in silence rarely pausing or taking a break. I was surprised when I approached the gate in the photo above and came upon one on the post. It stayed there for a long time not being affected with my presence, by all appearances not realizing I was nearby.

A peculiar reality concerning the large scavenging birds is not recalling having seen one on the side of the road other than as a scavenger. They don’t get hit by vehicles, or at least I have never seen one. Another is their scat is sanitary due to the acids in their stomach required for digesting the unsavory foods they ingest. It certainly makes sense they would need not only a strong healthy constitution but the means to digest it.

Resting on the fence post he has a large area to traverse while on it’s endless search. They are comforting to observe slowly gliding across the sky or slowing circling higher. Other great birds join them after they somehow signal them from long distances. My suspicion is it is done by whether they are rising or lowering, as it rises more birds join them. When they descent other birds take their own direction not to be seen until the next episode.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

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