Saturday, May 14, 2011

Feasting On Not So Fresh Flesh!

Turkey Vultures on their feeding platform (in my backyard)
 photo by Jonathan Schechter 05/14/11

For two weeks vultures have been waiting and soaring and swinging low over my meadow as if to ask me one word, "When?"  Feeding turkey vultures is not for everyone. It means presenting not so fresh flesh. Bloated is good. Fresh is not. I have been feeding vultures for the past three years and am awed by their grace in sky. Watch them ride the thermals and it is pure poetry in motion.

Four days ago a neighbor - aware of my odd habit - presented me with a freshly flattened groundhog. Today I came home from running errands and everything fell into place: they came home for dinner. My camera was in my car and a light drizzle made it less likely the vultures would rapidly take wing. But perhaps most importantly they had become acclimated to my presence.  And from the looks of the remains of the groundhog - not much left - these three gluttonous birds were quite content just resting with bellys of not so fresh flesh.  I never left my car to get the picture. I lowered the window and snapped one clear shot from the edge of the driveway above my meadow.  But I know now, and they do too, that I will be a presenter of fleshy goodies for another season.

Now all I need is a good telephoto lens and the real fun will begin! My goal: A photo of the beaked, red faced  featherless head disappearing inside a body cavity. That is their way. We use a steak knife.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never seen one of these birds up close. Thanks for sharing!

May 14, 2011 at 10:28 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said, Mr. Schechter! (That is their way.) Really enjoy your column's perspective (in general) on things we may take for granted every day. tp

May 15, 2011 at 6:19 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Always enjoy reading your articles! Wonderful stories and interesting perspectives.

May 15, 2011 at 9:47 AM 
Blogger ruth said...

Hi Jon, just read your blog on the Turkey vultures - good one. I just read about all the Israeli border incidents. Hope it does not get any worse.

Love, Mom

May 15, 2011 at 3:11 PM 
Blogger Sandman said...

Another hobby for someone to try. Feeding road kill to vultures is cheaper than buying bird seed. At least it will clean up the road sides.

May 16, 2011 at 9:03 AM 
Blogger Jonathan Schechter said...

Thanks all for your comments. The vulture are 'making' me buy a new camera with a better zoom and faster action. I should have the camera in about a week or so. Hope to have some of the 'good shots' by early June!~

May 21, 2011 at 8:23 PM 
Blogger Luminosity said...

All of these creatures posted on this blog shows the austere beauty and wonder of Michigan.

May 30, 2011 at 8:48 AM 

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