Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday

Okay, not everyone's cup of tea but here we were driving down one of the back roads (we are heading towards Key West) and we came across this handsome fellow standing on a fence post and stretching its wings.  


When vultures stretch their wings out they use the sun to repair damaged feathers, raise body temperature and dry flight feathers after wet weather.  It rained heavily today but for a little while the sun came out.   We found him and about 30 or so of his family members in the field just beyond him doing the same thing.  It was a sight to behold as they all looked like they were about to perform Swan Lake.  We had driven by this spectacle and I think my mouth dropped open and I swiveled my neck around to make sure I had seen what I had just seen.  As it was a quiet road and there were no other cars in sight, I asked Gregg first if he had seen that, he had and before I could ask he reversed until we arrived opposite the Black Vulture Ballet.  This one eyed us warily but it did not stop him from enjoying the sunshine.

When morning temperatures warm up and thermals begin to form, turkey vultures begin to leave their roost individually.  Most black vultures wait about an hour longer than the turkey vulture before leaving their roost.  The late departure of black vultures is due to having a heavier wing load and waiting for stronger thermals to stay aloft.  When the thermals are right, they will begin to leave their roost in groups. 

As I said in the beginning of my post these extraordinary birds are not everyone's cup of tea, but are another species of bird that I have always been fascinated with.  When you put it in the context that they are nature's clean-up crew and that they play an important role in our world, maybe you will think a little differently of them.  They help to clean up our environment and could prevent the spread of certain diseases.  So, in my opinion I think they have been much maligned and deserve to be thought of more fondly.  Okay, maybe you think I am stretching that one a little too far, at least with less distaste, how's that?

You can find out more about them here.

I will be linking up with Stewart's Wild Bird Wednesday.  Thank you for hosting Stewart, I am always happy to have a bird photo to share with this lovely meme.

22 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

i like these guys a lot - and their red-headed cousins. you got a FINE shot!

KaHolly said...

That's one of the best pictures I've ever seen of a vulture!! Great capture! Sounds like you're having fun!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I completely and totally agree with all you say about vultures ... and I love the picture. It's raining up here in N Ft Myers -- hope it is sunny in Key WEst. Have fun.

Jen said...

They definitely perform a much-needed service. Nice shot.

Linda said...

Excellent portrait of a vulture!

Cloudia said...

Your description rivaled this excellent photo!


ALOHA from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
> < } } ( ° >
=^..^= <3

gigihawaii said...

Loved those topiaries in the previous post. As for vultures, I suppose they do what they have to do and have a place in Nature.

Valerie said...

Awesome shot, Denise. It was a lucky capture seeing his wings were wide.

Brian King said...

Very nice shot! Vultures are one of my favorites!

eileeninmd said...

Cool shot of the Black Vulture, Denise! Have a happy day!

diane b said...

Great shot of your much maligned bird. They are quite impressive really. The scene you described must have been awesome.

Lea said...

Great photo!
We would be knee-deep in road-kill if it weren't for the scavenger birds.
Hope you are having a great week!
Lea

EG CameraGirl said...

Vultures may not be handsome birds but they sure are good at cleaning up!

Michelle said...

A nice shot of a very important bird! They provide an invaluable service to the environment.

Em Parkinson said...

Impressive birds, even if I don't like them very much - great shot.

sparkle100-havealook.blogspot.com said...

oh this is amazing. Birds like this. Not many people get good clicks like this.

I enjoyed it.

Janie said...

Great shot of the vulture in his ballet act. his face may not be elegant, but a vulture's flying ability is quite admirable.

Gunilla Bäck said...

Their faces might not be so pretty, but they're gorgeous when they soar in the sky.

Gail Dixon said...

Hey, I'll take any bird that will sit and pose for me like that. I think they're great! Interesting facts about them, too.

Marie said...

He looks like a statue on a castle parapet! :-) I would have been astounded too by such a sight. I'm glad you were able to go back and get a picture!

genie said...

Oh you lucky girl...you are in my old neck of the woods. Right now I would give my right arm to be back in our home in Palm Beach instead of in all of this mess here in VA...and we are to get more on Monday. Hope you all are having a wonderful trip.n Be safe. This is quite an impressive capture. This fellow mean business.

Kay said...

I've not seen a lot of vultures in the wild and you have really captured a majestic bird. Beautifully done!