Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Hills Are Alive...With The Sight Of Carnage

I came across a magnificent Turkey Vulture yesterday on my way to town. Or as we call them around here, a Turkey Buzzard. He was gigantic. I feared I might run over him. He was sitting on a freshly-squashed rabbit in the middle of the county road, ripping out chunks of flesh. The rabbit looked like it had been skinned. The fur was gone. A fresh spot of blood made a pool of dipping sauce.

Mr. Turkey Vulture turned to look at me in my approaching T-Hoe. He heaved himself heavily with an ungainly flap, flap, flapping of his enormous wings, and rose out of harm's way. He did the same on my way home twenty minutes later. I saw him perch in a dead tree in a cow field, about fifty feet off the road.

I did not get a picture, because I am not in the habit of fumbling for my smart-phone to make a dumb move and click pics while I'm piloting a large SUV on unmarked two-lane blacktop. But Google is my best bud, and on this website, I found this spittin' image of him:

Mr. Turkey Vulture was bigger than Tank the Beagle. The size of a turkey, in fact. Go figure. So much wildlife. So little space on the road. Last week, The Pony and I saw a turkey run across our gravel road. And three raccoons scurry across the county road. The hills are alive.


Chickadee said...

Turkey Vultures are awesome! Among my bird nerd circles we call them nature's garbage men. Their stomachs can withstand botulism and anthrax. They sometimes go long periods of time without eating, so when they do eat, they can eat to the point they can't fly. Oh no! But what happens if a predator (like a coyote or a car?) come up on this helpless bird? Never fear, these vultures have a trick up their feathered sleeve. When the animal (or car) come within striking range they will vomit all over the threatening party. Think about what that bird just ate. A stinking animal that has been dead on the side of the road for days. yeah, that usually sends the coyote a running.

I love these guys.

Mommy Needs a Xanax said...

My dad swears they will take off right in front of his 18 wheeler and sort of ride the big gush of wind it creates as it passes. The sight of them creeps me out, but not as much as the family of black crows who has taken up residence in my back yard.

Hillbilly Mom said...

I knew you would appreciate my fine feathered friend!

Hope you don't hear something tap tap tapping at your chamber door!