Vultures

There has been a large group of vultures on this property since long before we bought it.  They nest in a canyon on the ridge about a half mile behind the house.  Vultures do good work:  they clean up the carcasses.  So I have no problem with them.  They are beautiful riding the heat thermals over the land, circling effortlessly in the sky.

However, when they invade my space, then I want them out.  One morning this spring, a large flock laid claim to our yard.

Unfortunately, I panicked when I saw them and ran outside waving my arms and screaming  like a banshee.  Not a pretty sight.  A camera was far from my mind.  They stirred and moved around a little.

So I called in reinforcements.  My husband came out with his shotgun and fired into the air.  That got their attention. Some flew to the edge of the yard and others to the barn area.  Then I remembered photographs.

Like many people, I have used the words buzzard and vulture interchangeably.  But there are no buzzards in North America.  So these are definitely vultures.  They have a strong sense of smell and can detect rotting flesh a mile away.  Their heads are bald.  As they fly, their spread wings have finger feathers at the wing tips that are visible if they’re not too high.

Later a few drifted back to the yard, which required more shots.  They eventually left the yard for good.  Since they came en mass, I’m speculating that they are a new group to this property and were searching for a nesting site.  Maybe the established flock didn’t welcome them.

There are just some creatures that I don’t want to live up close and personal with.

“When vultures watching your civilization begin dropping dead, it’s time to pause and wonder.”  David Brower

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