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Ya gotta have a strong stomach for this job.

Discussion in 'Gardening With Animals' started by jackb, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. Mar 24, 2015
    jackb

    jackb Garden Master

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    A turkey vulture dropped by this morning to clean up the remains of an unfortunate squirrel that was struck by a car. I have seen them high in the sky, but never up close, until now.

    [​IMG]

    It is still very much winter in New York, and as a result our feeders are still getting a lot of activity. This little beauty is a frequent visitor, it is a male red bellied woodpecker.

    [​IMG]

    Jackb
     
  2. Mar 24, 2015
    Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Garden Master

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    My vulture story is one morning before breakfast I shot a skunk about 20 feet from the chicken coop in a pasture field. I left it there, intending to take care of the carcass after breakfast. By the time I got back, probably about two hours since I was not looking foreword to the task, vultures had found it. The carcass was skinned with the fur inside out and pulled back over the head. The sleleton was stripped of all meat and everything internal was gone. I was impressed by how efficient they were.

    I see vultures here all the time, sometimes fairly close. They have plenty to eat, road kill, various carcasses, cattle or deer afterbirth, and who knows what else. When I kill a critter that I don't eat, something bothering my garden or chickens, I have a place I drag the carcass to so the vultures and other carrion eaters can find it and dispose of it. A lot of people find them disgusting but they are an essential part of nature, cleaning up carrion. I would never intentionally harm a vulture, they are too valuable, unless I found one stalking my little chicks. I never have seen this but they don't just eat carrion. They can hunt helpless things too.
     
  3. Mar 24, 2015
    digitS'

    digitS' Garden Master

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    Oh, that wasn't too hard on the stomach, Jack. Soil microbes, beach crabs, African lions, vultures ... happening all the time ... just don't let @majorcatfish see that squirrel in the picture ..!

    I never saw vultures here for many, many years. I grew up in southern Oregon where there seemed to be a vulture circling somewhere in the sky every minute of every summer day. So, I knew what to look for. They just weren't here!

    About 10 or 15 years ago, they began to show up. It could have been like the valley quail. Their presence seemed to absolutely conform to the Idaho/Washington border. Decades I looked for them in Idaho! They slipped across at some point in time. I figure that it had something to do with a change in the gun culture.

    Steve
     
  4. Mar 24, 2015
    seedcorn

    seedcorn Garden Master

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    Fly over my place non stop spring-fall. Always check to make sure I'm not dead. Must just smell that way?????
     
    Beekissed likes this.
  5. Mar 24, 2015
    so lucky

    so lucky Garden Master

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    I appreciate the job they do, but boy they sure are ugly! We have them circling here pretty much all the time. Well, not exactly over my house, but you get the picture.
     
  6. Mar 24, 2015
    Smart Red

    Smart Red Garden Master

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    I've seen a flock of 'em hanging out on the roof of an abandoned building around the corner. Kind of eerie to see them in a big group, but a great help to a healthy environment. It's been only about 12 years since I've seen them soaring in the skies here in south-est, central-est Wisconsin.
     
  7. Mar 24, 2015
    jackb

    jackb Garden Master

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    They are a fairly recent addition here also, I would estimate that they began to appear about fifteen years ago. It landed on our roof with a mighty thump when a car came by and made it abandon its prize.
    jackb
     
  8. Mar 24, 2015
    majorcatfish

    majorcatfish Garden Master

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    poor little
    8-Animal-Wallpapers-1080x1920.jpg
    juvenal turkey vultures and crows are my worst nightmare down at work they love to peck holes into the rubber roofing on a certain building that has no rock ballast..
     
    Lavender2 and digitS' like this.
  9. Mar 24, 2015
    moxies_chickienuggets

    moxies_chickienuggets Garden Addicted

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    We have a flock that hangs out in this general area. They are always flying over our property, checking out the chickens...even if they don't hunt and kill them. Anymore, I actually recognize two of them by their missing wing feathers.
     
  10. Mar 24, 2015
    baymule

    baymule Garden Master

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    My Great Pyrenees, Paris, hates them. If they fly too low over HER property, she leaps in the air barking and snapping at them. Same thing with hawks.
     

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