For those who followed us for the last year or so, you might remember about this time last August we had a new arrival, “Spec, the black turkey vulture,” aka: undertaker of the skies. All other birds hatch in the spring or early summer, but turkey vultures wait until the late summer to fledge.
Today, Mr. and Mrs. Digger O’Dell* gave us another big, “Scrappy” baby vulture, downy head and all. Watching for the falcons, I had caught movement coming down the rock face and then lost sight of it. The fog was thick up high and only left the lower quarter of the rock visible. Scanning this, I saw three adult vultures standing on a large rock facing over the back side. I assumed they were looking at something dead or maybe another bird eating something behind the rock. The adults left for some reason and soon appeared a downy head. Then the rest of him appeared around the large rock. He no sooner got on top then fell behind it into a bush and out of sight.
A few minutes later my partner, Heather, arrived then Jack Clayton. I greeted Heather and yelled to Jack, “Get your camera.”
They both said “What’s going on?”
I replied, “We have a new baby vulture behind a bush.”
I had their attention now. Soon ten minutes passed with nothing visible.
“What is this, a snipe hunt?”
“I swear you guys. He’s behind the bush.”
Just then a wing came up.
“Did your see that?”
The next second, he spread his wings and flew. They both were aware of him now. And Jack pulled up and got off one shot as he flew away, dark downy head and all.
Happy trails, Bob
* For those of you who are 70 plus, you might remember the “Life of Riley”(radio and television: 1941-1958) and Digger O’Dell, the friendly undertaker. “I’d better be shoveling off.”
As of today, August 29, Bob and friends observed a second juvenile vulture flying with the first fledgling!