Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Turkey Vulture

There is an exceptionally large turkey vulture who lives in the forest across the road. She flies out and over our house a few times a day, very low, calling out as she flies, which is something new to me. We had vultures living near our last house, but I never heard them call out as this one does.

I suspect she is the reason why the baby squirrels no longer sit at the very top of the dead tree in the yard. They still visit the house, but very early in the morning, before the dogs are awake, and they tend to wander around the trees that are thick with leaves instead of sitting out in the open.

The interesting thing about this turkey vulture is that I only see her with a flock on occasion, and turkey vultures are social creatures. They tend to hang out in large flocks that include black vultures.

I did see a black vulture fly over our house a few days ago with a small, gray, furry creature in its claws. It looked like a baby rabbit. Some vultures will eat small animals if there is a shortage of food. With the wildfires we've been having in Texas, and the extreme drought, combined with the fact that many of these birds are feeding babies, and there seems to be an overabundance of vultures this year, I do suspect there might be a food shortage.

I doubt that it would, or could, fly off with my chihuahua, but I do not allow him to be outside alone...just in case.

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