Mississippi River at Palisaides State Park-1978
Mississippi River Backwater, NW Illinois
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« Tending the Beast | Main | Ten Essential Songs (One Man’s Opinion) »

February 01, 2022


Ross Adams

Nice article Tom. I also am an admirer of the Turkey Vulture and their job in the ecosystem. I suggested to my wife that when I am dead, she can tie a road around my leg, drag me to the top of the hill, and leave me as food for the vultures and coyotes! I would be okay with that; however, I doubt that my suggestion will be honored at the time of my death!

Kim Harrod

Enjoyed this very much - long live the turkey vulture!


Very nice article, Tom. I also admire the skill and seeming ease of turkey vultures as they soar and scan across both rural and urban landscapes. Over an early April weekend, last year, I was surprised to witness a gathering of turkey vultures roosting in a grove of mixed hardwoods adjacent to our lodging at Eagle Ridge resort. I counted 60 birds clustered in three large trees only one hundred or so feet from our balcony. Their black hump-like forms balanced awkwardly on narrow branches flexing and swaying under the birds’ combined weight. Unlike their graceful aerobatics their landing techniques were fraught with much frenetic flapping and klutzy footwork. Perhaps because they had no interest in worms, they were none too eager to get an early start on the day. Well after sunup the whole colony was still hunkered in the sparse woods, dark silhouettes against a slowly brightening sky. Finally, one stirred, loudly flapped wings and fumbled forward to take to the air. Then another and more till the trees were vacant and the birds were off to their scavenging. I read later that vultures are not group nesters, so I thought, possibly was a migratory kettle of vultures heading north to breeding areas.
Thanks for your good thoughts and musings.
Happy Birding.

Jim Bowhay

Wonderful meditation on a mysterious and awesome bird. Thank you.

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