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Bird Watchers: What is this Bird?

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  • #21
    Definitely a Turkey Vulture. Easily distinguished from a Black Vulture due to the head color.

    Yes, they are common in the east.

    Some people call them Turkey Buzzards or just Buzzards - maybe it's just a regional thing. I don't know.

    May I suggest that if you ever come across a Black Vulture sitting on her nest that you just leave her alone? They projectile vomit. It is about the grossest thing I've ever smelled or been splashed with.

    Originally posted by Alagirl View Post

    A friend said 'Buzzard' but I looked at images, no way this is one.
    I Said 'Turkey Vulture' he said they don't leave this far East.
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    -Rudyard Kipling


    • #22
      Originally posted by JSwan View Post
      May I suggest that if you ever come across a Black Vulture sitting on her nest that you just leave her alone? They projectile vomit. It is about the grossest thing I've ever smelled or been splashed with.
      Gross.. !
      www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
      "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
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      • Original Poster

        I think projectile vomit would actually be the least of my worries seeing a big bird with a strong beak on her nest...
        I do value my eyeballs....and blood volume.

        but yeah, puke is bad enough...regurgitated rotten meat must bea step up from that in disgustingness...


        • #24
          CT - we call them turkey vultures there, too. And, yep, there's more than a few of them.


          • #25
            Originally posted by wireweiners View Post
            After a rain, they will often perch on a tree or utility post with their wings outspread to sun themselves. If you've seen one do this you can tell where the Native Americans got their Thunderbird images.
            One of the most hilarious things I ever saw was a trio of turkey vultures sitting on a huge sign doing that. The sign? "Coming Soon! Grace Redemption Church!" in front of a construction site, with a big huge cross on it.

            I get a kick out of them, they're ugly, but sort of ungainly and endearing.
            "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

            My CANTER blog.


            • #26
              I think they are amazing and necessary. We have a bunch of them around here. One summer, I would go out to feed in the early morning and there would be 8 - 10 of them each one sitting on a fence post with wings outstretched airing them. They haven't done it since but it was an interesting sight.
              Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe


              • #27
                Just a little bird watcher's tip- "V is for Vulture" ... if you see a large raptor soaring- the hawks and falcons soar with straight wings- while Vultures hold their wings in a shallow V shape... makes it easy if you are just looking at a dark bird against a bright sky.


                • #28
                  Looks like a Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus). Turkey vultures have white on tips of feathers on underside of wings..


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by csaper58 View Post
                    Looks like a Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus). Turkey vultures have white on tips of feathers on underside of wings..
                    Sorry, but no. This is DEFINITELY a Turkey Vulture. First off, they don't have "white on tips of feathers on underside of wings", the wing tips at the very end sometimes show a slightly silvery underside, but not always. It's not a definitive method of identification.

                    Please note in the photo the decidedly RED head, the long, wide wings, & the longish wide tail. Black Vultures have a shorter BLACK head (NEVER red), shorter & slightly more v-shaped wings, & a much shorter, stubby tail.

                    It's also pretty easy to differentiate between Turkey Vultures & Black Vultures in flight. Turkey Vultures, due to their larger, wider, & longer wingspans, are able to soar a LOT longer. Black Vultures, on the other hand, have to do several wing flaps frequently between brief soars. So if you're ever watching a flock of them circling overhead, the shorter more v-shaped wings, stubby tails, shorter necks, & constant flaps make it really easy to pick the Blacks out from the Turkeys.


                    • #30
                      They might be ugly close up but I like to watch them soar. They are quite gifted in the sky


                      • #31
                        Our neighbors butchered two steers (well, the mobile slaughterer came out to do it) one day, and clearly left behind some "goodies" as about an hour later, when I came back down the hill past their farm, there was a gaggle of vultures cleaning up. I stopped and rolled down my windows, as they were about 50 feet from the road, and the "discussion" they were having was loud and boisterous. They are indeed wonderfully designed for their role in life, and I'm so grateful we have our carrion eaters.

                        Funnier still was the Bald Eagle vs. Vulture Fish Battle we witnessed along the banks of the Columbia one day. The symbol of freedom my ass! Those vultures were winning the day.
                        Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by csaper58 View Post
                          Looks like a Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus). Turkey vultures have white on tips of feathers on underside of wings..
                          The picture is in shadow; you can see that the underside is definitely light if you look closer - maybe not "white" but the color marking is clearly there.


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by jess h View Post
                            Ah, fond memories of date night on the ex-farm, aka 'Come on. Let's go see what the turkey vultures are circling!'
                            Many years ago DH and I ventured off the resort to go hiking while on vacation in Cuba. As we wandered sorta kinda lost in a big field, we looked up to see vultures circling us. A little unsettling to realize you are being circled by vultures! They probably though "mmmm more Canadians dying of dehydration when they are more than 50 feet from the bar"

                            Why would some consider them pests? Aren't scavengers a good thing?


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by jess h View Post
                              Ah, fond memories of date night on the ex-farm, aka 'Come on. Let's go see what the turkey vultures are circling!'
                              LOL OK sometimes I get bored but not that bored.

                              Originally posted by JSwan View Post

                              May I suggest that if you ever come across a Black Vulture sitting on her nest that you just leave her alone? They projectile vomit. It is about the grossest thing I've ever smelled or been splashed with.
                              Ugh. If that happened to me (not that I'd get that close to one), I would just up and become instant turkey vulture fodder.


                              • #35
                                one of the few I can id definitively b/c of the red head, yes turkey vulture. We had plenty in eastern CT & MA.

                                Lack of feathers on the head is great if you eat carrion. ick.


                                • #36
                                  I have heard that they are actually quite smart birds and rehabbers that have worked with them say they can have very dog-like personalities.

                                  My brother has worked with them at the zoo and says they are pretty fascinating.

                                  If they have recently feasted and are startled they do vomit. It lightens the load for them to fly better to get away.
                                  Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.
                                  Bernard M. Baruch


                                  • #37
                                    They are most excellent creatures. It is foolish to dislike them, they are highly valuable, nature's garbage cleanup service. They won't hurt you, and eating carrion keeps down disease spread.
                                    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                                    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09