Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Turkey Vulture

Erika and I spied three vultures high in the trees near the Billy Frank Jr. National Wildlife Refuge on 4 October 2021. We don’t see these birds often at the refuge. Perhaps these vultures spent the night. In any case, the highest perched vulture preened its neck while we watched and took photos. This behavior is described by Kirk and Mossman (2020) and is in response to irritation rather than to preening or bathing. I found this image a bit hard to decipher. The bird’s bill is open, and pointed fairly directly towards us. The front toe is working on the bottom of the vulture’s head, which is oriented sideways. The black dot opposite the toe is the vulture’s nostril.

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