Turkey Vultures are Nature’s Clean Up Crew

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A Turkey Vulture warming in the sunlightA Turkey Vulture warming in the sunlight – Nikon D810, f9, 1/1000, ISO 800, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Yesterday on my way back from the West Desert I saw my first of the year Turkey Vulture soaring above I-80. I don’t think Turkey Vultures are the most beautiful of the birds I photograph but I truly appreciate what they do while they are here in Utah.

Turkey Vultures are Nature’s clean up crew. They consume road kill and other dead animals and and in doing so they clean up the messy stuff. These Turkey Vulture images were taken last July in Box Elder County near the Promontory Mountain range.

A Turkey Vulture near the Promontory MountainsA Turkey Vulture near the Promontory Mountains – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/3200, ISO 800, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

After seeing about a half a dozen dead cattle yesterday near the road to North and South Willow Canyons in Tooele County I thought that the vulture I saw needed to head south just a bit for a free meal. The rancher(s) probably won’t pick up the dead cattle that were most likely hit by vehicles and died so the natural clean up crew might as well eat them.

Is that a messy business? Yeah, but the Turkey Vultures can do the job.

Life is good.

Mia

PS – I also spotted my first of the year Sage Thrasher the other day on Antelope Island

4 Comments

  1. Utahbooklover March 24, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    Here in Box Elder County I am amazed at the numerous dead deer I see roadside.

  2. Elephant's Child March 11, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    They are sadly maligned and undervalued.
    As are most of the people/beasts who do the jobs that we need to have done and are reluctant to do ourselves…

  3. Patty Chadwick March 11, 2016 at 8:46 am

    These are not the most beautiful birds in any close up, but the way they soar, glide and ride the thermals is definitely beautiful.

  4. Bob McPherson March 11, 2016 at 7:38 am

    Beautiful photos, Mia

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