A vulture is probably one of the most underestimated birds of prey. It is associated with death and isn’t exactly the most beautiful thing in the world.

They are the garbage collectors in the world of nature.  They can prevent the spread of diseases that dead animals  may have by consuming them before they rot. They have great eyesight to search for their next meal and are also believed to have the best sense of smell in the variety of birds of prey. Vultures can vary in size from 22lbs to 5 lbs in weight. Their wingspan can reach as much as 10feet, however,  they are built more for gliding then flapping.

Around this area, we have plenty of Turkey Vultures. You will recognize them from their dark feathers and their head which is red,resembling a turkey. There are no feathers on their head for hygienic purposes.  What??  Something that hangs around dead animals is worried about its hygiene?  Well…yea! Birds are very clean animals, if feathers covered their heads, bacteria and pieces of raw meat would get caught in there and pose a hazard. The birds suns himself and bakes off the nastiness on his noggin. But, Jill…what about their legs?  Don’t they step all up into that mess?  Of course,but that’s where peeing on your legs comes into play. Yes folks,  its true,  these guys will urinate on their legs to kill the bacteria and it helps them cool off as it evaporates. You’re probably grossed out by now so,  I wont even broach the subject of defense by vomiting.

Photos by Gohier and Nussbaumer

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