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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Turkey Buzzards...

...have to be one of the ugliest birds I know of while on the ground. However, in the air they appear rather majestic, riding updrafts and thermals with an ease that seems out of sync with their size. Perhaps you'll agree as you see these pictures of one that, with his family in tow, routinely does a fly over of my house. I'm still awaiting the dreaded "Turkey Buzzard Surprise" dropped in my eye from 300 feet. So far, so good.

A few years back (while living in Georgia), Leslie, the kids and I all loaded up the family truckster and went to Reed Bingham State Park, to see a nesting ground for these giant carrion birds. We took a guided boat tour in a south Georgia marsh just before sundown. When we arrived at the nesting zone some 20 minutes later there were quite literally thousands of these giant birds along with their cousins, the Black Vulture. Apparently, the latter hangs with the former to take advantage of keener eyesight and superior intelligence. Talk about a strange feeling, having these giant birds eyeballing you as you pass under them in an open pontoon boat. Crazy.

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