Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Turkey Vulture Tree-Millbury

I will be sad to see the Turkey Vultures migrating later this fall. For they have been the source of much pleasure and entertainment for me as I go about the daily tasks of life. They are the first to welcome me back to town after a long days work as I drive along Route 146. Kettles of up to 25 gracefully soar the skies in sweeping circles and seem to play with each other with familiar criss-crosses and my favorite, follow the leader. Sometimes, if the thermals are right, I will see them in the morning, often as early as 7AM, where they seem to prefer the area around the high school for unknown reasons.
When the skies are cloudy or worse, rain. They are not as fond of those skies that serve as their playground and they take to evergreen trees for shelter, just as they did Friday when I was getting out of work. There were quite a few of them in this tree so of course, I had to stop and take a picture. The one above was taken out of my car as I wasn't sure if they would flee once they saw me so I played it safe and got my first shot from the drivers side window.
Everyone once and a while, one would be brave and take to the skies and in effort to "test the waters" if you will, I am assuming. Off it would fly, flapping it's heavy wings over toward the Blackstone, only to return a few seconds later, defeated as it went back to its perch.
The leader of the pack never gave up its spot as it sat there scanning the skies and watching the cars go by.
And this is why I refer to the tree as the Turkey Vulture tree. Over the past week or so, I have noticed they have taken a strong liking to it which is fortunate for me as its a place a go by on a regular basis.
While their faces are not pretty, one has to be impressed with the beautiful plumage this bird has.
While I will be sad to see them go, I am looking forward to seeing them migrate. I have had the opportunity to study these birds more while in flight recently and I have noticed they are the most laziest flyers of all of the birds I look at during my lunch hour at work. They don't like using their wings but when they do it's a heavy, slow wing beat, but clearly not enjoyable on their part as they prefer the thermal lifts to do the hard work for them. There is also no apparent reason for their soaring as they are probably only looking for food and have no where to go anytime soon. It will be interesting to see if their flight behaviour is any different while heading to their winter location.

Take care all.


Rich said...

Turkey vultures are a pretty amazing, and social birds.

Susan W. said...

I LOVE Turkey vultures! I would love to see so many at once, too!

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

You know I LOVE those TUVUs too. That's such a neat TUVU tree!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Kim, Thanks for your kind words about my brother's death. I appreciate that so much.

I love Turkey Vultures also. Yours may come by here --and even spend the winter here. I have seen them here --and lots of them in Arkansas when we go to Mt. Nebo.


NCmountainwoman said...

We also have a Turkey Vulture Tree nearby. What a treat to see so many of them at once.

eileeninmd said...

What a sighting, I have seen similiar trees in places. The TV's must like to hang together.


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