Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Vultures and Vultures

Vultures get a bad rap.  Scavengers usually do.  I remember an uproar when people suggested that the Tyrannosaurus Rex might have been a scavenger.  People were unwilling to believe that the biggest raptor could have been a scavenger.  Their evidence was not without merit.  The T-Rex had the largest olfactory nerve center in the fossil record.  2nd biggest is the turkey vulture.  And some of the largest flying birds today are scavengers of some sort, Eurasian Black Vulture, Andean Vulture to name a few.

But back to today's vultures.  I've included some pictures of the 2 Vultures living here in Southern New England.  The Turkey Vulture and the Black Vulture.  Both are fairly visible around here and common.  The Black Vulture has only become common in the past decade or so.   Whether that's a product of climate change or not, that's up for debate.  Their sensory prowess is definitely up for debate as even JJ Audubon was know to experiment with sense smell.  So think about vultures next time you see them in the sky, you are in good company!

Until the next time, go outside and bird!

A Turkey Vulture perched up high

A Close Up of a Turkey Vulture

A Black Vulture soaring in the sky

Wild Bird Wednesday - link here

7 comments:

  1. I love the Turkey Vulture. They have a much better sense of smell than the Black Vultures so the Black Vultures hang around them and follow them to the carrion and then, sadly, bully them off of their find. Hopefully there is enough to go around over time so they can all be successful. These are great pictures and I am glad to find someoun that has an appreciation for the important role that the vultures play in natures scheme of things. Love this post ...

    Andra @ From The Sol

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  2. The Vultures are cool birds, great post and photos.

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    1. I agree! I need to go out west to see some more vultures and the California Condor. That would be awesome.

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  3. Olfactory abilities second only to T-Rex. Very cool!

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    1. Very cool indeed! For a while people believe that even vultures couldn't smell but then they learned better!

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  4. There are quite a few vultures in this area. I need to become more versed in identifying the different birds.

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