July 06, 2004

Something you don't see every day

Oldest daughter and I were driving to the hardware store saturday morning, and as we came up on a stop sign in our residential neighborhood, we spotted a large bird standing in the middle of the road.

My first thought was "chicken", then "turkey" as I realized just how big it really was. As we slowed down, it walked out of the way of my truck, and I saw the hairless red head. It was a Turkey Vulture. Not terribly uncommon, but rarely seen standing around in the road like that.

Ugly thing.

Legend has it that in the earliest of times the sun lived very close to the earth making it almost unbearable. The vulture was the most beautiful and powerful of birds-its head covered with rich feathers that all other birds envied. Knowing that the earth would burn up unless someone moved the sun, the vulture placed its head against the sun and began to fly toward the heavens. With powerful strokes of its mighty wings, it pushed the sun further and further away from the earth. Though it could feel it crown feathers burning, the vulture continued until the sun was high up in the heavens. The earth was safe, but unfortunately, the vulture lost its magnificent head of feathers for all eternity.

Pretty cool too.

Posted by Ted at July 6, 2004 07:24 AM
Category: Square Pegs

The real reason they have bald heads is that they eat carrion and often thrust their whole heads into rotting carcasses.

Lack of feathers keeps the mess to a minimum.

They also urinate and defecate on their feet as a cooling mechanism and to kill bacteria.

Numbers of Turkey Vultures have climbed steadily in recent times due to the prevalence of road kill.

Posted by: The Meatriarchy at July 6, 2004 07:36 AM
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