This must feel soooo good:
Turkey Vulture atop utility pole – alert
Just close your eyes and soak up the warmth of the sun:
Turkey Vulture atop utility pole – snoozing
Turkey vultures look imposing, even with all that flight hardware tucked away:
Turkey Vulture on branch
However, I think this is a low-status bird, because those splashes on the left wing look a lot like bird crap…
Taken with the DSC-H5, zoomed all the way tight with the 1.7× teleadapter, handheld on a lovely sunny day.
Update: Because I write these posts a few days in advance of their appearance, I didn’t know yesterday’s weather would look like this:
Driveway clearing – 2017-03-14
That’s a screenshot from a Raspberry Pi streaming camera I set up so a friend in North Carolina could gloat.
I suppose the vultures huddle in a tree, as do the turkeys, and await better flying conditions.
Enjoy the sun while it shines!
These guys looked completely disgusted with the situation:
Turkeys on rail fence in snow
They’re about 130 feet away in a heavy snowstorm that eventually deposited about a foot of wet snow on the area.
The top rail really does slant downward: the tenon on the right end broke and fell out of the mortise.
The DSC-H5 carries the 1.7× teleadapter, zoomed all the way tight through two layers of 1955-ish window glass, hand-held, braced against the pane.
The day before that snowstorm, we biked 18 miles out-and-back over the Walkway in beautiful, sunny, mid-50s (°F) weather:
KE4ZNU-9 – APRS track – 2017-02-08
We ride when we can and shovel when we must!
A turkey flock forages through the bottomlands along the Wappinger Creek and, at night, roosts in the trees at the far end of our driveway:
Roosting Turkeys – visible
I’m a sucker for that moon:
Roosting Turkeys – visible
It’s rising into the eastward-bound cloud cover bringing a light snowfall, so we missed the penumbral eclipse.
If you’re counting turkeys, it’s easier with a contrasty IR image:
Roosting Turkeys – infra-red mode
Mary recently counted forty turkeys on the ground, so that’s just part of their flock. I think their air boss assigns one turkey per branch for safety; they weigh upwards of 10 pounds each!
Taken with the DSC-H5 and DSC-F717, both the the 1.7× teleadapter, hand-held in cold weather.
Searching the blog for turkey will turn up more pix, including my favorite IR turkey shot.
The turkey flock that normally lives along the Wappingers Creek valley, downslope from the back yard, has emerged for the ritual spring foraging:
Turkey flock – 0
Turkey flock – 1
And just moseying around:
Turkey flock – 2
You can match the trees and identify some duplicated birds, but the flock seems stable around a dozen. They used to deploy skirmish lines upwards of two dozen bird and we’ve recently counted 19; we think foxes have been encouraging better control of wandering chicks.
Turkeys are good folks…
We don’t often see Turkey Vultures on the ground, so this gathering was unusual:
Turkey vultures on the ground
The depression in the grass suggests something keeled over right there; perhaps they’re rummaging around for leftovers. Although they’re totally graceless on foot, it works well enough for them.
There were two vultures on posts when I stopped, but one joined the ground party before I could deploy the camera. The other bird kept a close eye on me throughout the proceedings:
Turkey vulture on fence post
Pix from the Canon SX230HS, zoomed to its optical limit, and certainly not prizewinners…
Based on this evidence, the hawks seem to be tackling larger prey:
Turkey feathers in the garden
Mary found turkey feathers drifting across the garden, with the largest concentration near this assortment, much along the lines of the pile left at our back door. Given the 6 ft deer fence surrounding the garden and the complete absence of yummy debris, we think this wasn’t the work of a land-based predator.
Parents, guard your children…
Along those lines, once upon a time, long ago and far away, we attended a show-n-tell featuring a (rescued) California Condor. The exhibitors ushered us into a tight group and told parents to keep their small children close beside them, because condors attack stray animals and pay particular attention to infants of herd animals. Of course, one couple didn’t get the word (or didn’t think it applied to them) and let their toddler wander off. As soon as the kid got a few feet away from the pack of people, the inert condor abruptly powered up and got weapons lock on the kid; a warning from the exhibitor sent the parents scurrying to
correct collect their blunder.
Raptors are not friendly birds.
These guys just weren’t having a good day:
Turkeys in the Rain
They’re members of the flock of six toms that marches through the neighborhood every day, clearing bugs out of the lawn.
We like ’em!