Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Turkey Vulture

With all the current attention going to nesting birds and newly arriving neo-tropic warblers and flycatchers I was a little startled to find this roosting Turkey Vulture at the Salem Audubon Nature Reserve yesterday morning. It was not what I was looking for in the thick understory, I was hoping for something new and exotic. But there it was, probably waiting for the day to warm up before venturing out to soar on some thermals. I think most people would consider them to be ugly birds, but I find their appearance and colors quite striking. Their featherless head and neck serve them well as they feed on dead carcasses. They deserve if not our respect at least our appreciation for all the clean-up work they do all summer long.

In the way of an update on other birds at the Audubon Nature Reserve; all the fuss with multiple Ospreys seem to have settled down to one pair at the platform and I heard that someone saw them mating. The Robins nest with the three eggs that I reported on last week is now unfortunately down to just one egg and no parents in sight.  Again there was no activity at the Bushtit nest. Stephanie Hazen reports that she saw two Chestnut-backed Chickadees entering artificial cavity snag #3 on Tuesday.  

1 comment:

  1. You have to love these winged garbage disposals. Some may say they are a tad on the ugly side, but I like their appearance and enjoy watching them circling together, spiraling downward, honing in on the scent of death. Lee