Turkey Vulture Perched On An Orange Post – Why is that Fence Post Orange?

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Turkey Vulture perched on an orange postTurkey Vulture perched on an orange post – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 320, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR, natural light, not baited

I was looking through my photo archives for March last night because I wanted to see when some of the spring migrants have shown up in previous years and noticed that I have seen Turkey Vultures as early as mid-March. Yeah, I know some people think that Turkey Vultures are so ugly that only a mother could love them but I have a great deal of respect for these carrion eaters because they clean up the roads and fields plus they are incredibly graceful in flight. And personally, I don’t find them ugly at all, just different and different isn’t a bad thing.

When I photographed this adult Turkey Vulture in northern Utah last year it wasn’t alone, there were several other vultures roosting near it that morning on fence posts and a locked gate and I took a lot of images of all of them. I liked having the out of focus sagebrush in the background, the eye contact I had with the bird plus all of the fine details I could see in the vulture’s dark plumage. About the only thing I didn’t like about this Turkey Vulture photo was the brightness of the orange fence post but… there is a reason why that fence post is orange.

Why is that fence post orange you might ask?

That orange post along with other orange posts on this rangeland means the private landowner has posted notification that there is “No Trespassing” allowed on their land, specifically that there is “No Hunting” on that piece of property without permission. Here in Utah that orange color on fence posts means keep out. I’ve also seen the orange used in Idaho and Montana to post private land as “No Hunting” without permission too.

So now you have the rest of the story about why you see orange painted fence posts here in Utah along with private lands in other states and what those fence posts mean.

Note: The Vulture doesn’t care what the orange fence posts means for it the post is just a handy place to roost overnight, perch upon and a place to warm up in the morning sun.

Life is good.


It is snowing here this morning! Happy dance!


  1. Elephants Child March 4, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    The more no hunting posts (whatever the colour) the better.

  2. Marty K March 4, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    What a gorgeous Turkey Vulture. I love the way that red head pops!

  3. April Olson March 4, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    It won’t be long. I wish I had Monday off. I would love to go out there with all this new snow.

  4. Lynn March 4, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    Thank you, Mia, for all these wonderful Turkey Vulture photos. And I agree, they are beautiful!

  5. Patty Chadwick March 4, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    Funny …our orange “Fat Rambo” fake “president” is dumb as a post…must be the color…..

  6. Laura Culley March 4, 2018 at 10:40 am

    I was delighted to see the turkey vultures back in my skies three days ago. I’ve missed them since they flew off to wherever they winter and seeing them again made me giggle with joy! Like you, I love vultures for so many reasons and I don’t find them ugly at all. Indeed, they’re perfectly adapted for the job they do on this spinning rock and there’s sheer beauty in that.

  7. Suzanne Renfrow March 4, 2018 at 10:19 am

    I noticed along I-80 that you will frequently see old TIRES hung on fence posts too! I finally got a closer look at one, and saw “No Trespassing” (or maybe it was “Keep Out”) painted on it! I think the orange posts are a bit more aesthetically pleasing!

  8. sallie reynolds March 4, 2018 at 9:46 am

    The orange post, with its peeling colors, reflects the red of the bird’s head. I like it. If I were painting this bird, I use this post . . .

  9. Terry Orme March 4, 2018 at 9:07 am

    Edward Abbey revered these birds. Wanted to be reincarnated as one.

  10. LSClem March 4, 2018 at 9:02 am

    In addition to your terrific photos, I so appreciate the commentary that accompanies them!

  11. Jo Smith March 4, 2018 at 7:48 am

    Arkansas is a purple state….

  12. Shirley March 4, 2018 at 7:19 am

    This bird is not cute or beautiful but so important. In BC, the Provincial Government has highway maintenance contracted out so someone was telling me a few days ago that one of the contractors has a spot where they dump “road kill” instead of burying it in the winter which helps some of our birds stay healthy and alive in these cold months.

  13. Colleen March 4, 2018 at 7:08 am

    Missouri uses purple for no trespassing and no hunting as well.

  14. shoreacres March 4, 2018 at 6:53 am

    Here in Texas, the color of choice is a vibrant purple, but the meaning is the same: no trespassing and no hunting without permission.

    • Mia McPherson March 4, 2018 at 6:58 am

      I read that Kansas and Nebraska use purple too.

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