Aug 8, 2007

Ol' Grim

I don't run into many uglies in Northern California. But I'm proud to say I see these birdies nearly every day. You're staring into the deathly gaze of the Turkey Vulture.

Here are a few quick factoids I learned about one of my favorite birds: 1) They have no vocal organs--they can only hiss or grunt, 2) They have an amazing sense of smell--they can detect ethyl mercaptan gassing off of decaying animals, and 3) They don't feed exclusively on dead animals--they can also eat decaying plant matter, such as pumpkins and seaweed.

There now, isn't your life all the richer for having attended today's episode of Turkey Vulture Talk?

Thanks for the photo, K. You brought ol' Grim to life.


Anonymous said...

Vultures around here are rather partial to scaring the bezeejus out of people coming out of a burger joint and taking whatever they drop. Or it could have been they had a nest and were scaring them away, but hey, free burgers!

Arachnophile said...

LOVE TUVUs - still my all 'round favorite bird I worked with at a rehab centre. They poop on their own legs to cool off and regurgitate to defend themselves, what's not endearing about that?!

Susan Gets Native said...

Another lovely thing that they do is vomit when they feel threatened. I have been the lucky recipient of vulture vomit. More than once. Our education vulture, Earl, has christened me twice with the unholy foulness that is vulture vomit.
Jeez...just typing that made me gag a little.

Susan Gets Native said...

Just read the above comment. My comment is redundant.
Oh, well. How often do we get to type the words "vulture vomit"? Not enough, in my humble opinion.