01.09.2023 Of all things…

So I finally did make an image in 2023. You might think it would be of ice, a waterfall or cascade, some foggy trees, or a sunrise.  But it was a turkey vulture that Mary Beth saw from her desk.

Turkey Vulture-Cathartes aura-Canon 5D Mark IV, Tamron 100-400+2x Teleconverter; f/16 @1/20 sec, ISO 100.

I really didn’t think it would still be lingering in our neighbor’s tree by the time I grabbed my stuff and got out into the driveway but it was and I managed to get two shots before it flew off, this being the better. Most of these birds migrate but some remain here and, I guess, a few might be from even farther north. They also might be lingering because of the warmer winters we have been having which even encourage bears to roam when they normally would be snoozing in a comfy cave somewhere.


About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Amherst, Animal Behavior, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to 01.09.2023 Of all things…

  1. Peter Klopp says:

    Turkey vultures in your neck of the woods and Canada geese here at the Arrow Lakes all tell us the same story: Global warming is a reality.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Eliza Waters says:

    With little to no snow cover, there is no need to fly further south, it seems. Interesting to note the lack of red breeding colors on its head. Great contrast of browns in its feathers, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I imagine the breeding colors might develop as the season for that activity approaches. This might be a juvenile but I am not a well-versed birder so don’t know how to recognize the different behaviors and timing. I’ve not seen one as colorful before so maybe that has to do with age as well.


  3. We see them circling around my hometown frequently— if one lands in a tree near my father, he customarily shouts “Come back later, I’m not ready for pickin’ just yet.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • I see where you get your sense of humor. 🙂 They are quite common here and it is not unusual to see one or a few in the neighborhood. So far none have circled over me while I’ve been gardening so I take it as a good sign.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy new (photographic) year.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wally Jones says:

    Where would we be without the noble vultures?

    Cleaning up a lot of dead things littering the roadways and parks.

    With a face only a mother could love, watching them slowly ascend on thermal air currents provides an appreciation for their skilled flying abilities.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The more I learn about ecology the more I understand that the majority of living organisms are doing just that, cleaning up after someone else. Except for us. Boy do we make a mess.

      They are impressive flyers and with that wing span a bit intimidating as well. While not beautiful by most any standard except that of a mother’s love, I do find their faces interesting…except when buried in a carcass.


  6. melody says:

    That guy looks quite wise, he doesn’t need a weatherman to see which way the wind blows. 🙂

    Do they have to wait for the thermals to warm in the sun before they can fly?

    I love vultures/buzzards, I’ve seen them so playful in the wind. I’m sure they have a very playful humorous sensibility–and who wouldn’t being a vulture? There’s a Spanish name–oh yeah, Zopilote! Such a great name, echoes of its indigenous roots: tzopīlōtl.

    Happy Monday, it’s sunny here for a moment and warmish, under the atmospheric river’s momentary opening. And the wind is shaking the trees pretty fiercely as the cold and warm fronts collide.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think they can fly under most any condition but require thermals for their prolonged soaring glide.
      I imagine that many animals enjoy their lives when not in the middle of a losing battle in the food chain squabble. Certainly many of them play, especially as immatures.
      I like that description “atmospheric river’s momentary opening”. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. shoreacres says:

    I don’t remember ever seeing one of these that’s so brown; it’s really quite pretty. We have these, of course, but the Black Vultures are far more common. Just today, I passed a pair that were busy cleaning up a bit of road kill for us.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I haven’t had this good a look at one before, I don’t think. With the naked eye it appeared as dark as most but once captured and seen on the big screen the color was more evident. A search on the interweb provided several similar images. I don’t know how to age one so maybe it is younger.
      They do provide a valuable service that’s for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Littlesundog says:

    You know I am a big fan of vultures. We have a flock of twenty or so that stay the winter, roosting in the pecan orchard in the evenings. In March and October migration brings a gathering of more than two hundred to the orchard area. Mostly we see turkey vultures, but we also see the black-faced vulture too. Like Linda, I’ve not seen a brown one like yours. Nice photo!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Not a bird I would have expected at this time of year in your part of the country. I love all the feathery details in the wings.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ann Mackay says:

    Not a pretty face but the feathers are lovely. Might be worrying if it seemed to be watching you closely, hehe!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Dave Ply says:

    Hopefully, that’s not an omen for the year. (Apart from the interesting picture aspect.)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. bluebrightly says:

    It’s interesting that this one lingered in your area when they leave our area in winter and we’re much warmer, generally. The bird does look cold, though! Glad it gave you a chance.

    Liked by 1 person

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