The turkey vultures have returned to our neighbourhood. They spent the weekend gliding over the farm intimidating animals and humans alike with their dark shadows, their red heads, their beady eyes and their giant wings. At one point, two touched down on the ridge of the barn, opened their wings and stood there sunning themselves.
They are absolutely massive birds. Unfortunately, Matt got outside first and yelled at them, so they flew away before I could get a picture. (Matt’s a bit concerned about any… let’s call it “interference”… landing on our new solar panels).
Here’s a picture from last year when a trio touched down on the barn roof. (Look how green! And no snow!)
I still don’t think this photo conveys the scale of these birds. Just keep in mind the barn’s really, really big, and you can clearly distinguish the vultures sitting on top of it.
Do you have turkey vultures in your neighbourhood?
Interesting. We never see them here in the city (maybe once, flying over our island), but whenever you’re driving in New England they’re up there, soaring with their wings at that distinctive angle. The Cornell Ornithology map shows that yours are at the very northern edge of their summer/breeding range. (Do you get the idea that I’m an inveterate birdwatcher?)
I’ve never looked up their range. Thanks for sharing that with me. We see them fairly regularly, for all that they’re at the edge of their range.
Any favourite birds that you see regularly in your area? Or something you’re on the lookout for?
Wow – we have so many favorites. Regulars like Cardinals and Mockingbirds. The gorgeous migrating warblers in mid-May. All the water birds, like Snowy Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Black-crowned Night Herons. Most favorite? Perhaps the Ospreys, which we see diving for fish, and a pair of which have been nesting atop an old piling right by our yacht club. Beautiful! One that we’re on the lookout for and have only seen once on our island is the Bald Eagle!
Very rarely I will see one on the roadside scavaging something that has been hit. They are such ugly stinky birds! And very intimidating with their size!
That’s usually where we see them to. A lot of carcasses… including a skunk… have disappeared over the past week.
Creepy and at the same time thrilling. I have seen them around here but never on our property.
That’s exactly the way to describe them.
Yes!! Friday morning.
First time up close. A huge pair, very near the intersection of Carl and Thomson .One was devouring a road- killed rabbit while the other kept his/her beady eye on me approaching.
I got very close until the bird withdrew to the garage roof of Dickens former house and allowed me to pass unpecked. Whew!!
That’s a bit too close for comfort! It’s particularly intimidating when they just stand there and look at you.
Yes, we get turkey vultures here on Vancouver Island as well. Freakish creatures! Today I had the pleasure of watching seven or eight great blue herons, who are nesting in some tall trees right behind a house where I teach. And we have a teeny-tiny hummingbird nest, complete with mama sitting on her eggs, in our camellia! The nest is like a little sac, and no bigger than a toonie. Apparently she binds it with spider silk and it expands as the babies hatch and grow! Nature is amazing.
Herons and hummingbirds are much more attractive than turkey vultures. We have seen them both at the farm… and fortunately more often than the vultures.I’ve never seen a hummingbird nest though. That sounds amazing! I can’t imagine how small the babies will be when they hatch.
Apparently they weigh one-third the weight of a dime. O_O