Thursday, June 25, 2009

turkey vulture ~ 06/25/09 ~ Morro Strand Beach

In Ohio, I used to call these turkey buzzards, until someone told me buzzard was a misnomer, similarly to how American buffalo are really bison. Common names are fraught with inaccuracies, but sure are easier to remember than scientific names.

We first noticed this group on the hill and watched several fly down to the beach.

This was the first time I witnessed a group of turkey vultures feeding. Their behavior was fascinating to observe: one would feed while several others seemed stationed to keep a lookout. I couldn't help but think of broad-shouldered henchmen. I believe they were feeding on a sea lion carcass.

Oh, how many times have we seen turkey vultures in the distance soaring on great wings and hoped they were California condors?

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