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Turkey vultures are wonderful, awesome birds

By Gary Bogue
Wednesday, July 11th, 2012 at 5:23 am in Turkey vultures.

Turkey vulture getting ready to feed on a dead squirrel in the middle of the road. Photo by Judy Edlund, Concord, CA
1turkey vulture judy edlund concord

I’ve had 4 interesting encounters with these wonderful and awesome birds (turkey vultures).

First at the intersection of Leland & Railroad in Pittsburg, CA. On the NE corner is a mortuary and on the NW corner there is a row of large, mature eucalyptus trees. On one trip as I sat at the stop lights there were about 10 of them sitting on the peak of the roof of the mortuary and another 20 or so in the eucalyptus trees and this was in the late morning.

Second time was on the roof of Hillcrest Congregational  Church on Gregory Lane in Pleasant Hill, CA. One sat on the peak of the roof, one set on the top of the cross and one each sat on each arm of the cross.

The third time was on a street in Brentwood, just east the HWY 4 bypass and south of Lone Tree Way between a new housing development and a field. About 6 were cleaning up a skunk.

Turkey vulture getting ready to feed on a dead squirrel in the middle of the road. Photo by Judy Edlund, Concord, CA
1turkey vulture judy edlund concord

And finally, see the above photo of a single vulture cleaning up a ground squirrel just east of San Marco & W. Leland in Pittsburg, CA, in a new neighborhood of completed houses. He was in the middle of the street and was unhappy that I drove through. He just moved over to let me pass. As I came back I had my camera out, stopped and took this picture. He glared at me, picked up his trophy and moved into an empty field and continued to eat.

I have so much fun just observing my surroundings.
Judy Edlund, Concord, California

Don’t you think it’s kind of poetic that those vultures were perching on the roof of that mortuary in Pittsburg? That’s funny!

Turkey vultures are Mother Nature’s garbage collectors. Without vultures, the local environment would be a smelly place full of dead things.

They spend the day patrolling the skies on outstretched wings, looking for dead things to eat. And their nights perched in tall trees, or on mortuary rooftops, waiting for the next day to come. In the early mornings, just as the sun rises, vultures are often observed standing with their wings stretched open and exposed to the suns rays. This allows the ultra violet light to kill any bacteria they may have picked up on their feathers while eating carrion. They also defecate on their legs and feet, giving them a whitewashed look. Vulture feces is acidic, which helps to kill off any bacteria on their legs and feet.

Mother Nature takes care of her own. /Gary

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3 Responses to “Turkey vultures are wonderful, awesome birds”

  1. Barbara Says:

    Judy: I’m not wild about turkeys, but I love turkey vultures. (I won’t even try to figure that out…). The vultures fly so gracefully and leisurely over the hills where I live. Two of them seem to have an interest in roosting in a neighbor’s tree. I’m guessing this to be their focal point for roadkill. (Neat photo, thanks!)

  2. jerry collins Says:

    gary,this is in responce to the lady with the bird feeder’s and the cat’s that wait beneith it waiting for bird’s,there are two deterrent’s that i can think of to help her,one is clear plastic matting that you see mostly in homes in the hallways the matting is clear plastic with molded small spike’s on the bottom to keep the matt from slipping on the carpet if she were to lay some of that upside down beneith the feeder’s cat’s will not walk on it due to the discomfort to their foot pad’s and the other is a genious deterrent for rodent’s animal’s etc: it is a kit from any hardware store it is simply a old type of what i call a machinegun sprinkler commonly seen in agriculture field’s and that is mounted on a small pole that you stick into the ground and it has a motion sensor attatched,all you do is run a water hose to it and add batteries to the sensor and set the sensativity of the detector and whallah any animal that activates the detector get’s a nice cool shower for as long as the motion sensor is activated,both of these deterrents are not harmful to the animal but very effective at keeping the out of the area. please print this as this could very well help alot of people.sincerely jerry collins antioch,ca.

  3. Jack Fuller Says:

    Check this out. Baby T.V.’s:

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