Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Turkey Vulture Convention


I saw something the other day I've never seen before...turkey vultures landing in an open field for no apparent reason and in close proximity to people. The vultures didn't do anything after landing other than sit and there was no rotting carcass to feast on. They came in one at a time over the course of about five minutes until there were nine or ten of them on the ground. The comical part about it was each vulture was harangued on the way in by the local grackle thugs. It was akin to watching hang gliders try to harass B-1 bombers. The vultures sat around looking at each other for about fifteen minutes and then suddenly all flew off together.






















35 comments:

Rustic Vintage Country said...

My goodness, amazing photos!

Betty Roan said...

Love the in flight shots best, but they are all very good. Vultures intrigue me, so I take lots of pictures. I'm not sure why. They are ugly birds.

Linda said...

Simply amazing photos! The detail is spectacular - even though they are not pretty birds in the face, their wings are gorgeous, and in flight, a beauty to behold!

Andee said...

That is strange to see so many landing in one place. I had one in my back yard a few days ago it kept soaring down close to me. There was a brown paper bag crumpled in the grass apparently it was after that and not me. Phew. Great pictures.

Tanya said...

great shots! love that one that is coming in for a landing and appears to be skidding!

Amy Burzese said...

Great find and great shots. The in-flight ones are great, but that last one is my favorite. Someone just has to be different :)

Dina said...

Cool flight shots! I guess they are just hanging around waiting for something to die.

NatureStop said...

Amazing captures!!Specially of the vultures in flight.I wonder if they we just taking a break:)

Have a great day!
Shantana

Andrea said...

Aren't they just magnificent and your pictues captures it all. Thank you. I love the Turkey Vulture. I spent time with two little boys Jr. & Sr. at the rehab facility. They are very social and very playful. This goes right to my heart ...

Andrea @ From The Sol

Grandma Barb's This and That said...

Wow! These are amazing shots, Brian. I love the in flight and coming in for the landing ones best. But they are all great.

TexWisGirl said...

they look as plentiful as my tree rats! :)

you captured some great feather detail - i think they're so beautiful, even if they're ugly and smell funky. love the grackle attacks, too (and your analogy). if i was a suffering fool, i'd want to draw from one of your winged pics.

i like how the buzzards look against that perfectly mowed green grass. not something you see often.

Leenie said...

Your photos show off those soaring wings and I know they're job as carrion disposal is important, but still those bald red heads are freaky-weird. Go grackles.

Dee W said...

Love these! I love vultures - when Iowa had massive floods 4 year ago, we saw lots of vultures. I told the kids that the vultures were going to get fat helping clean up. It helped lighten the mood.

Amila Kanchana said...

Curious ,indeed,and what wonderful photos! let us know if you find an explanation for the unusual behavior.

Gillian Olson said...

Wonderful shots, the action shots of birds in flight and landing are especially fascinating.

Gary said...

They are quite stunning birds!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Pamela Gordon said...

These are great shots of these ugly headed birds! I had never seen them before in our area until last summer. We saw about a dozen of them gathered overhead one afternoon eyeing our neighbours small dog! Then, I noticed them a lot after that on different occasions. I haven't seen them yet this spring. They are interesting to watch as they fly in one by one then gather in circles on the air currents over the fields.

Genie said...

What an amazing post. I cannot believe you got that close even with a high powered lens. I now know why they are called turkey vultures. They really do look ugly mean. Seeing them all in a crooked lineup shows a little more appealing side of them. Your captures are awesome. The ones of them in flight about knocked me off my feet. This is one fabulous series. Thanks so much for taking the time to share them with all of us. genie

Carletta said...

A wonderful series of in flight and on the ground shots! Love your DOF in some of these and the shots with the huge wingspans are awesome.
I wonder if they had all been scared away from where they had been feasting to where you saw them.

mick said...

A great series of photos - especially the in-flight ones.

Pam said...

You sure can make an ugly bunch of buzzards look great, Brian. But they do look graceful as they glide on the air currents.
cheers.

HansHB said...

Great shots!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

We see that behavior here too (mostly the black vultures though)...but same thing, watching the grackles chase them. I suppose the vultures must feel harassed sort off like when gnats or mosquitos attack us.

eileeninmd said...

Wow, amazing shots of the vultures. I love the flight shots.

Terri Buster said...

Fantastic shots Brian- wonder what was up? Usually there's a rotten carcass somewhere close by.

Tammy said...

I've always found vultures to be fascinating birds. Great captures of these guys, especially the flight shots!!!

bailey-road.com said...

What wonderful captures these are, Brian! They're pretty cool birds.

Marie said...

These photos are outstanding Brian! Perfectly crisp...you can see every feather. Wow! I am so impressed! But then I always am impressed with your work!

Jean said...

Goodness...I'm glad you were there to capture this interesting action!

Sall's Country Life said...

Love how you captured the whole thing! Those grackles will take on anyone apparently (they are so tough)
I think it was a territorial gang war?

Arija said...

A fantastic set of shots!! Maybe I've got street gangs on my mind but it looks like they were meeting to to go belt up a motorcycle gang.
Here our magpies harass the wedge-tail eagles in the same manner as the grackles. Usually they keep it up for so long that they chase the eagles out of their territory. I'm always sad to see the eagles leave as I love to see them soaring over the farm.

A great experience indeed for you to have them all so close.

Ida said...

Awesome! Wow, How fabulous was it to photograph these birds. I've never seen them in real life but your photos are just amazing.

JOY @ http://joysjotsshots.blogspot.com/ said...

A very unusual opportunity. Glad you got to take great shots to share. I think they spotted you and heard you took great wildlife pictures and wanted to pose for you.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Brian, these are marvelous, what fun images! Might be like we humans saying..Let's just meet up and then we can all decide on which restaurant to have our meal.~

adamselinflannel.com said...

Those are great! They are so creepy looking....