I was pleased to see and photograph my first of the year Turkey Vulture perched on a fence post next to a road yesterday in northern Utah. I’ve been waiting for them to come back and to see them soaring on the thermals in search of food.
It was chilly yesterday morning and this vulture may have roosted on the fence post overnight and was just beginning to warm up for the day. The vulture opened its bill a few times.
And yawned. Turkey Vultures only hiss and grunt, they never call because they do not have a syrinx, a vocal organ found in other bird species. So if you ever see a soaring Turkey Vulture on TV or in a movie calling you’ll know that someone on the production team didn’t do their research on these birds.
There are people who think that Turkey Vultures, California Condors and Black Vultures are ugly and some people might even get creeped out by them. I am not one of those people. I like the coloring of their feathers and that black feathered collar around their necks.
I also appreciate how they clean up our environment by consuming carrion and road kill. I suspect that the human road crews that are assigned to clean up road kills appreciate them too.
I removed my teleconverter to take this photo hoping to get some images of the vulture taking off without clipping its wing tips but unfortunately a pickup sped by and I missed the images of it lifting off.
I saw more than a dozen Turkey Vultures yesterday while I was out and about and that was a treat.
I enjoyed being able to photograph this cooperative Turkey Vulture yesterday with a grassy slope in the background and I hope I have many more opportunities to put my lens on them while they are here to breed and raise their young this year.
Life is good.