Weblog of Leland Rucker
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Temporarily Turkey Vulture


So I’m taking out the trash Friday morning, stepping out the front door a few minutes before seven. A couple of ravens or crows (I couldn’t tell) flew right over my head heading south. They rose as I watched them move away, their wings silently floating across the Moyers’ yard.

I walked off the porch, still watching the birds, who were settling into a tall tree fifty feet away, three front-yards over. That’s when I noticed the visitors. Two birds about four or five times the size of the ravens perched on the same branch.

Turkey vultures. I had seen ten of them circling above the CU property south of town Tuesday morning while walking up to the bus stop. The vultures are a part of the springtime experience in Boulder and other areas along the Front Range at this time of year.

I grabbed the binoculars and headed up the street, where I finally got a view of what turned out to be seven vultures in the tree. One seemed to be lying on the limb rather than standing. They were about forty or fifty feet from the ground.

Went back to get Billie, and there we both were, in our jammies, running up the street for the cheapest of thrills. A neighbor bringing out her trash saw us, and looked a bit askance at our attire. I pointed up to the birds. She knew them from living in Ontario. Not exactly fashionable-looking birds, we agreed. But magnificent nonetheless.

Took a shower, and I heard the sounds of our trash hauler coming down the street, sounding like a combat battalion, metal against metal. I ran back out after the truck passed, and though a couple had changed positions, all seven were still there. I saw one flapping huge wings circling for another perch.

I walked beneath them on the way to the bus stop and then caught a last glimpse as the bus took off on Table Mesa. I wondered how many times I had walked beneath them and never even knew they were there.

I was up early Saturday again, but no vultures. Kept watching all weekend, but they never came back. A temporary roost.

1 comment

1 Turkey Vultures and Buzzard Hank — Jukebox in My Head { 10.02.09 at 7:21 am }

[...] am always watching for turkey vultures , and I have seen a lot of them high in the air, especially on the trails near the East Boulder Rec [...]

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