Most of us have seen vultures riding thermals midmorning, soaring in kettles in the afternoon, drying their wings in the sun, or roosting just before dusk.
Many can even tell a turkey vulture from a black vulture in flight. But few have seen a vulture running on the ground in their half-skip, half-hop fashion all puffed up like a tom turkey. That is just what S.O.A.R.’s black vulture, Cayce, treated the audience to in their birds of prey show at the Sandhill Crane Festival in Birchwood, TN on Saturday. Personality plus is a good way to sum up this bird. Imprinted on humans at a very young age after falling out of the nest, she stole the show on Saturday with her amusing antics, as she hissed, hopped, bobbed her head in a dance-like fashion and followed Dale around the floor.
Below you can see the intrique on a few children's faces and her wingspan next to the size of her handler, Dale, as Cayce is about to demonstrate her flight skills. And she does, handsomely, skimming the heads of viewers with her long dangling toes.
Vultures are our scavengers, the birds that help clean up our world. They are intelligent and curious, and as you can see, have personality. I even have a naturalist friend, author Stephen Lyn Bales of Nature Calling, who muses about being a vulture in another life so he can sleep late, ride thermals and play in the wind.
But there are others who think vultures are unattractive, even ugly. What do you think?
Submitted to Bird Photography Weekly #12 at Birdfreak.com to promote the conservation of our world's birds.
For the Love of It...
...the sage sees heaven reflected in Nature as in a mirror, and he pursues this Art, not for the sake of gold or silver, but for the love of the knowledge which it reveals.