Friday, January 15, 2010

On the trail...

A beautiful sunny day, after over a week of unseasonable cold, it was a pleasure to take to the trails on a relatively warm day.

It's that time of year for our visits from those maligned critters, the vultures. We get both the Turkey vulture and the Black vulture around here year-round, but they become a more common sight, often appearing in surprising numbers. This photo of a Black vulture soaring above the pines shows the identifying white wing tips quite well. In the other photo, huddled on the opposite bank is a 'venue' of vultures. Venue is the name for a group of vultures- also sometimes called a committee or a wake. Those circling overhead would be a 'kettle'. If they are circling, it is unlikely that they are waiting for some unfortunate animal to die, despite those old movies and cartoons. They are probably just enjoying the ease of flight on a column of warm air.

If you should see any vultures with tags on their wings, researchers would like to know about it.

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