It really didn't seem like a good omen

gandle(4 NE)March 31, 2012

We opened the museum for the year today. I drew the first day. When I unlocked the door and turned off the security system a woman ran in all excited and asked if those were vultures in a very tall hackberry tree. I went out snd looked and they did seem like vultures but wasn't sure. I called Leone and told her to come to the park with binoculars and a camera. She showed up a few minutes later and confirmed that they were vultures or turkey buzzards. She didn't bring a camera. A woman was trying to get a picture on her cell phone with little success. After resting perhaps 15 minutes they leisurely flew off going north. When vultures are eyeing you when you are doing something you have to wonder. All went well, was busy and had over 60 visitors.

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OMGosh.........that hit my funnybone. Turkey buzzards and black buzzards are as common here as robins and I greatly respect and admire those birds. Years ago, as I was walking between my greenhouses I saw a shadow on the ground, looked like it was cast by a plane overhead but then heard wings. It was a young male turkey vulture for some reason swooped down over me low enough I could have reached up and touched him. He had glided down silently and didn't need to flap his wings until he had to gain altitude to avoid colliding with the side of the building. Amazing birds. Then last spring when we were making a delivery in our truck out in the boonies, we came upon one of their infamous roosting spots. HUNDREDS of those huge birds sitting atop an old decrepit barn and the trees surrounding it and vulture poop EVERYWHERE. It made an Alfred Hitchcock movie look tame.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 9:33PM
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The day don't seem to be right if our buzzards don't show up on time, almost can set the clock by their schedule.
They are old friends.
A few years ago we had a fly-by of (guestimate by a professional birdwatcher) of about 200 black vultures, an amazing sight, bussards as far as you could see on their autumn migration and 2 winters ago there were about 100 of them on the other side of town overwintering in a little wood between houses. The people living there did not appreciate it at all, it was a great big mess and hosing down roofs and yards were a very frequent chore.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 9:53AM
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Yep..........but they are nature's clean-up crew. Imagine what stinky litter we would have if nothing came to opportune the dead carcasses of wildlife. That's how I spotted some illegal deer kills on our property up by our spring head. I noticed the vultures kept landing there and found the remains.

Of course our state celebrates their return to Hinkley every spring. But they don't all migrate. I usually spot a few here through the winter. I sometimes wonder how many out of state hunters mistake them for turkeys. LOL.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 1:09PM
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George, I bet they were looking for some "creamed groundhog on toast."

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 7:16PM
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tibs(5/6 OH)

I read that black buzzards (which are slowly moving into my part of Ohio) don't just scarf up dead things but take young lambs and can be a real problem to farmers. I had a friend who had a turkey buzzard nest in her dilapidated shed. we climbed up to see the young. They are these so-ugly-they-are-cute white fuzzballs with big ole beaks on wobbly heads.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 9:12AM
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That's what I always heard as well, Tibs. Their flight mechanics are quite different, and they're easily told apart (even from a distance) because of it.

Here is a link that might be useful: black vs. turkey vultures

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 7:47AM
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husky004_(z5 NY)

Saw some turkey vultures once in Florida that stripped a roadkill squirrel in less than a few minutes, it wasn't a pretty site watching from my DD's patio.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 10:09PM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

I seem to have a "roosting site" in my back yard....well actually in a huge old cottonwood that is about 10 feet west of my property line. About 3 or 4 times a week "they" decide that's the place for the night time roost. So far this spring there seem to be consistantly 25 to 30 birds ( they are turkey vultures)....last year there were often 50 birds...
I know so little about them. Never EVER see them on the ground eating road kill deer or a rabbit or possom or anyother unfortunate creature.
Sometimes they all come in....settle themselves down.....and then one by one they leave for the roost 2 blocks away.
Fascinating birds.....filthy....messy...piles of poop and lots of huge feathers....but fascinating.
And I love to see them in that heraldic pose before they leave for the day.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 9:53PM
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