Monday, January 3, 2011

Carcass Cleanup Committee

How do you feel about vultures?

I personally have a love/hate relationship with the birds.

I love that they eat dead stuff, but really hate that they eat dead stuff.

I know -- even my conflict is conflicted.

Whether you love 'em or hate 'em (or both), you would have been impressed last week by the sheer number of vultures camped out on our property in this tree:



And this one:



And this one:



And this one:



This is not part of a wake of vultures moving from tree to tree -- this is one big wake of vultures spread out around the trees on our property (aren't you impressed that I know what a grouping of vultures is called? That's why I just looked it up on the internet . . . to impress you.).

Oh, and look -- here are some more:



Want a close up?



This is your typical American Black Vulture. It flies in circles and eats dead stuff. That's pretty much everything you thought you needed to know. What you might not have known is that it has great patience and will hang out for several days waiting for dead fish to wash up close enough to shore to be plucked out and devoured.

About two and a half weeks ago we had a rather large fish kill in the tidal creek by our house. I have determined that the cause of the kill was unually low temperatures coupled with low winter tides that prevented the fish from swimming through the needle grass and other vegetation clogging the outlet of the creek into the deeper waters closer to the bay where maybe they could have survived the cold nights. That's my theory -- and since it was developed with zero scientific research, no consultation whatsoever with actual scientists, and observation from more than 6 feet away (dead fish stink), it's probably completely inaccurate.

But I will say this -- love 'em or hate 'em (or both), at the beginning of last week, there were hundreds of dead fishing floating in our creek . . . and now there are none.

If we'd actually kept Campbell inside all week, it probably would have taken less than a day for the vultures to clean up the creek:



Don't worry, we kept him inside when the coyotes were having breakfast.


1 comment:

  1. Could be worse... You COULD be that crazy woman on trash day that runs up and down the street chasing them out of torn garbage bags and such. Oh wait, that's me. Nevermind...

    ReplyDelete