Sunday, April 21, 2013
Turkey vulture is a Cathertine vulture. They have bare heads and necks. They are natures sanitary service. Cleaning up dead animals called carrion.
These birds glide back and forth across searching for carrion to eat. They stay separate from each other as they look for carrion. Having found some carrion, other vultures will flock to the site. I have seen them fly in circles as a group at the beginning and end of a day.
They have a very keen sense of smell and sight to locate their food. They also are cautious and won't be tricked by bait. They are able to find covered bodies on the forest floor.
Black vulture is similar to the Turkey vulture but the Black vulture has flat wings in flight while the Turkey vulture wings are in a V shape. Also the Turkey vulture's wings are 2 toned while the Black vulture's wigs are black with light wing tips.
As we were hiking up to a bluff a Turkey vulture swooped by us at a surprising close proximity. Then seeing us it moved up much higher. It is at this point I captured this photo.
The Turkey vulture migrates in from the south and spends the warmth in mid Missouri. Crows migrate down from the north and spend the winter here. Crows are scavengers as well. I have not noticed if both birds are here at the same time.
"Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather."