Black Vulture (Coragyps altratus)
Photo: © 2008 Jeffrey Berger

To those of you unfamiliar with Mount Dora, Gilbert Park is a lakeside recreational area where townsfolk flock to feed the ducks and watch a sunset.

But be forewarned: Mount Dorans loathe those Addams Family pets strafing the neighborhood. They will feed any duck to amuse themselves, but sooner rid their lake of any scavenger (or refer them to Lou Dobbs for deportation).

Too bad vultures get such a bad rap. I think of them as the waste management service of road kill. Their favorite foods include flat cats, rigor mortis tortoise, and poodles with noodles.

Like our retirees, vultures are smart and thrifty shoppers who proudly declare: “Of course, we prefer prime beef, but you can’t beat carrion for availability and price.”


Anonymous said...

Not to mention Kitties Littered; Beavers, Damn! and Squished Squirrel Quiche...

p.s. Not only does this NOT go too far...there isn't far enough out there that you could go! Besides, it's HILARIOUS!!

Thanks so much for the joy!

Anna said...

The eyes - oh the eyes - of these birds - vacant & hollow. Spooky.

Ron Sullivan said...

Right on! Go vultures!

You're no doubt familiar with Robinson Jeffers' poem about getting cruised by a vulture. "...what an enskyment!"

Yeah. I like a bird that looks back at you.

Friend of ours got to pet a captive turkey vulture once; the bird seemed to like being stroked on the side of his head, leaned into it like a cat. Friend said the bare skin was soft and warm and pleasant to touch.

Capt. Fogg said...

There was one sitting on the dock railing yesterday morning with wings outstretched like he was drying them or maybe just having a morning stretch. You get a better idea of how big they actually are when you see them like this.

You can't always tell winter from the weather here, but when the vultures return from wherever they go in the Summer, you know it's here.

beak said...

These aviators are like most of us... best viewed at a distance (EXCEPT, of course when swampcracker takes their pix! Awesome picture dude.) Ever noticed how they leave UGLY behind when they take wing? When they're dancing with the currents they are beautiful!


Ever noticed how they leave UGLY behind when they take wing?

Thanks beak. But can this be any uglier than what the chimp leaves behind?

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy reading your blog, it always has great insight. But I am very frustrated with the fact that so few people are talking about presidential candidates and their thoughts on global warming. Now that it is down to just a few candidates I would think that this would be a bigger issue.

Live Earth just picked up this topic and put out an article ( http://www.liveearth.org/news.php ) live earth is also asking why the presidential candidates are not being solicited for their stance on the issue of the climate change. I just saw a poll on www.EarthLab.com that says people care a lot about what their next leader thinks of global warming. Does anyone know of another poll or other results about this subject?

Here is the page where I saw the EarthLab poll: http://www.earthlab.com/life.aspx. This is a pretty legit website; they are endorsed by Al Gore and the alliance for climate protection and they have a carbon footprint calculator. Does anyone have a strong opinion about this like I do? No matter what your political affiliation is or who you vote for this is an important issue for our environment, our economy and for homeland security.


Thank you, anonymous, for your thoughtful and timely comment. I share your concern about the impact of climate change on the environment and world economy. In this forum, I have kept politics and proselytizing to a minimum in order to provide an environmental education experience for readers. My sole purpose here is to give my photo subjects a voice and let them speak for themselves.

Capt. Fogg said...

A unique sight is the half million of them circling the garbage dump on the turnpike in Palm Beach county. They circle endlessly, like moths around a light.

The other day I watched three of them perched on the columns of dead Sabal Palms in the pouring rain like men in black overcoats.

Anonymous said...

continued thanks for your remarkable photos & astute, witty descriptions.
praise be, to animals other than humans......


. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

I love vultures.

Goodness knows how awful the sides of our roads would be without carrion eaters.

This portrait is so beautiful and dignified.

(Rigor mortis tortoise, indeed!)

Lin said...

A very cool shot