Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Both vultures practice vulturing

Black vulture (bottom) and turkey vulture (top)
 The air was so thick and heavy yesterday that even the vultures were brought to ground. Instead, both black and turkey vultures hung out around Roundtop’s dumpsters. Perhaps they figured that since they were grounded, they might as well hang out where they could still find some pickings. Or hoped to.

The black vultures seem less shy and slower to leave a food source than are the turkey vultures. The turkey vultures hopped over to the roof of the nearby maintenance building as soon as I pulled up to their dumpsters. The black vultures didn’t budge when I got out of the car and closed the door and only deigned to move when I got within several feet of them.

Black vulture

Black vultures are supposed to be a bit smaller than turkey vultures, but I can’t say that I notice that. They are much the same size as far as I can see. Lots of vultures ply the air around Roundtop, both kinds. They roost on or near the mountain on most nights. Once 20 of them roosted atop my cabin roof and the old TV antenna. I live only about 20 miles from Gettysburg, site of the famous battle, of course. There, witnesses told of masses of vultures for months after the battle, and to this day the battlefield boasts many, many vultures. Once the big birds found that spot, they didn’t want to leave, apparently. At this point, 150 years after the battle, I do have to wonder what keeps so many of them there. Perhaps that congregation of them contributes to the large numbers I have at Roundtop.

No comments: