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Turkey Vulture

Osprey on alert as Turkey Vultures fly over

Watching the behavior of animals is always fascinating and yesterday I saw some interesting stuff. My son and I were observing an Osprey nest and taking pictures of them when some large birds appeared in the sky and began circling.

The male Osprey became alerted to the presence of these interlopers and began circling his mate and their nest (presumably with some hatchlings). It was obvious he did not like the fact these other birds were nearby, even though they never really came close.

The other birds were Turkey Vultures, some of which we tracked down later and got pictures of (see my post from earlier today). Given that they normally feed on carrion, they didn’t really present a threat to the Osprey nest but the parental protective instinct of the Osprey was on full display.

Here you see the male Osprey on one of its rounds as the vultures pass behind.

A male Osprey circles its nest to ward off intruding Turkey Vultures. (© Tony’s Takes)

A male Osprey circles its nest to ward off intruding Turkey Vultures. (© Tony’s Takes)

Turkey Vultures dine on carrion

While out and about on a photo drive yesterday, my son and I spotted six of these birds circling and heading west. The Turkey Vultures disappeared from our sight but we ended up finding them again dining on Prairie Dog carrion in a field.

We spent an hour watching them as they took turns picking apart their meal. The case could certainly be made that these are some of the ugliest birds in the world – my son certainly thinks so. While certainly not pretty, I tend to think they are kind of neat.

These large birds can have wingspans approaching six feet across and when flying high in the sky are often mistaken for hawks or eagles. Taken in Longmont, Colorado.

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A Turkey Vulture comes in for a landing.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Turkey Vulture comes in for a landing. (© Tony’s Takes)