Turkey Vulture in Box Elder County – Nature’s Picker Uppers

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An adult Turkey Vulture in Box Elder CountyAn adult Turkey Vulture in Box Elder County – Nikon D810, f9, 1/1000, ISO 800, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

Turkey Vultures are Nature’s Picker Uppers. They clean up road kill, gut piles and animals that have died naturally but too often they are vilified or even shot because they are seen as a nuisance, predators and because people who believe in silly, baseless superstitions think of them as omens of death. Sure, just like finding a penny face up is going to make me a millionaire, right?

Like any other bird I respect Turkey Vultures for what they are, birds. But these guys are great at cleaning up the messy stuff other creatures might turn their noses (or bills) up at.

A Turkey Vulture cleaning its billA Turkey Vulture cleaning its bill – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/3200, ISO 800, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

When I photographed this Turkey Vulture in Box Elder County last summer it flew from the post it had been perched on and landed a bit further away where it quickly began cleaning its bill on a lichen covered rock.

It won’t be long and I will be seeing Turkey Vultures soaring on the thermals or cleaning up carrion again here in Utah.

Life is good.

Mia

5 Comments

  1. Elephant's Child January 7, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    Reviled for doing a job that we don’t want to do. It was ever thus.
    And they have a beauty and a charm of their own. For those who look.

  2. Utahbooklover January 7, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    I do miss them in winter. And it takes a lot longer for the roadside dead deer to go.

  3. Catherine January 7, 2016 at 9:08 am

    We’ve got a fair-sized population of resident TVs here. I could watch them play on the wind for hours. They soar through a gap in the redwoods, bank near the snag in our driveway, and try to continue soaring until they clear the fence line without flapping. They don’t always manage, and that bird will circle back and try again.

  4. Bob Bushell January 7, 2016 at 6:31 am

    Stunning image.

  5. Bob Mcpherson January 7, 2016 at 6:23 am

    Beautiful picture, Mia.

Comments are closed.