Team ugly in a tree ...


Vulture .. now that creates images. It was a gloomy, overcast day, and Teresa and I took a walk at Garbry Big Woods last week when we came on this cast of Turkey Vultures hanging out in this tree. I have heard a group of vultures called a ‘cast’, a ‘wake’, and even a ‘committee’. I like to call it ‘team ugly’, but I’ll just use ‘cast’.  

When we first spotted him, it was a lone vulture, but within minutes, nine of his buddy’s showed up. I have never seen so many in a tree like this before. You normally see them circling in the sky, looking for something to scavenge. I recently read that they are attracted to the smell of mercaptan (a gas produced by the beginnings of decay). Sounds disgusting, but their immune system is unique, and protects them from disease that is associated with decaying animals. 


They are beautiful flyers, but they are ugly when they are on the ground. I guess they have their own unique beauty.

I often see them flying lower to the ground near the river. I saw the one to the left over the Stillwater river yesterday on a walk in Englewood Reserve. It was no more than 20 feet off the ground at home point.  After two quick scans of the river bed, he resumed his much higher altitude hunt. 

Shortly after I took that picture, someone stopped us and said that Eagles had been in the area earlier in the day. I am sorry we missed that. Maybe next time.  

 ~ Rick

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©2017 Rick Cartwright