Posts Tagged ‘black vultures’

A Two-Day Feast

This all started when an adult bald eagle landed in the field across the highway from our house. I hurried out on the porch to take its picture.

It took flight and flew right over me!

A little later, turkey vultures started flying into the field. The brown ones are immature, and the adults are black.

I had no idea what there was for them to eat … probably carrion.

I’m not sure if the light brown animal shape in front of the middle bird was carrion or a mound of dirt.

It looked like one of them wasn’t happy.

Other groups flew in too. They were scattered about in the 15-acre field.

I got as close to them as I could. That meant sneaking along the shrub border of our yard.

They seemed to be otherwise occupied. The two in this picture with the light wing tips are adults.

They were here for parts of two days.

The eagle wasn’t about to miss out on anything and was the last to leave.

The adult eagle, and a young eagle flew into a tree across the highway from our house. They didn’t stay long before they flew off to the northwest

… and haven’t been back since.


And Black Vultures

The second part of a 2-part blog.

Buffy and I started back the way we came along the bluff. The black vultures were still on the ledge, and they didn’t seem concerned by my presence. I wore a camouflaged coat and drab pants.

We have both black and turkey vultures in southern Illinois. Turkey vultures are the most common. They both spend the winter not far south from here, and both began returning early because of our exceptionally mild winter.

I knew these were black vultures because of their black head. Turkey vultures have a red head, except for the immatures which have a blackish head.

Black vultures have a 23-27 inch wingspan, a white patch underneath near the wing tips, and a short square tail. They lay 2 eggs in tree cavities or shallow caves.

Turkey vultures have a 26-32 inch wing span, and their tail is longer and narrow. They’re black overall except for gray on the underside of their flight feathers. Their 2 eggs are laid in old barns, hollow stumps or logs, and rock crevices.

I had never been that close to a vulture before! A barred owl hooted its “who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all” call 4 times as I took a few more pictures

A great hike just got even better!