Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mystery Birds

I walked out of the house the other evening and saw a nearby tree filled with these large black birds. It was getting late and the sun had already set, so I didn't get a good close up of them, but perhaps you've seen them before. They come occasionally to the trees and congregate like you see in the photo. The next morning, to my surprise, they were gone before the sun rose. Do you know what they were?

4 comments:

Sliv said...

Maybe vultures? Unless it's light enough to see their heads... I remember that happening spring and fall, generally, when I lived there.

Anonymous said...

I've seen trees filled with vultures here in the midwest, too, in the fall. It was the first thing I thought of when I looked at the photo.

GAA

Anonymous said...

yep, it reminds me of the giant turkey vultures that hang around Lake Banet.
UA

Desert Survivor said...

You're all right, these are turkey vultures. The light isn't good enough to see their faces, which are naked and bright red in contrast to their dark feathers. When they fly their wings are in the shape of a shallow V, and they like to soar on the thermals. They have a great sense of smell and feed primarily on carrion, and in fact sometimes you can see several vultures swarming around a dead animal. They don't have a syrinx, the vocal organ of birds, so they don't chirp or sing but rather grunt and hiss. Turkey vultures are gregarious and roost in groups. We don't see them all that often, but they do occasionally hang out in the trees near our house. It's neat that you have gotten to see them too!

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