Saturday, July 28, 2012

Turkey Vulture on High-Flying Carcass Hunt

A Turkey Vulture soared over the Qu'Appelle Valley ahead of me as I drove down Route 99 from Highway 6 towards Craven, Saskatchewan.

This bird, a huge, high raptor, was noticeable for the size of its wingspan — and its small beak and head. (Turkey Vultures' heads, of course, are featherless and red  but I couldn't see that from the ground, nor is the colour highly visible in the photos I took.) 

Turkey Vulture on high-flying hunt © SB

I was surprised by how beautiful the Turkey Vulture was from far below, its under-feathers frilly and light in flight. 

This scavenger spun high on thermals over the valley, and then — on the scent of a carcass?  dove into the hills below.

(And the Turkey Vulture's protective-shield effect continues; this is the second vulture I've seen in the valley, and I haven't yet managed a sharp, noise-free shot.)  

eta: Finally! Some great shots of Turkey Vultures

What is this bird? Turkey Vulture
Location: Qu'Appelle Valley, along Rte 99 (west of Highway 6), Saskatchewan.
Photo date:  July 26, 2012.


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