Happy (belated) International Vulture Awareness Day. My photo event calendar had this as today when, in fact, it turns out it was this past Saturday so it is a bit late. The day is set aside to honor this ecologically vital group of birds that, while they might not win any beauty contests, perform key roles in the environment.
As nature’s garbage collectors, they feed on carrion they find lying around dead like rabbits, prairie dogs and such and are believed to be able to smell the dead animals up to a mile away. In cleaning up the dead, they help to prevent the spread of disease from the carcasses.
This picture was taken last September in Estes Park, Colorado where a large group of them had gathered near the lake. Thankfully it was not my carcass that had attracted them. 😉