Vulture Turf Wars

In my last post, I noted that I was trying to capture a breeding shot of the turkey vultures. As I was cleaning my painting table, I noticed a vulture perched on the gate at the lower field, two on posts, and one on the ground. Surely, there must be a nesting pair amongst this crew.

I grabbed the camera and sneaked out the office door and around the side of the house. The one on the gate spread its wings, as vultures often do when sunning themselves. The posture was a bit more intimidating than the usual bask in the sunshine. Then the one on the ground spread out its wings.

They squared off.

Then the one on the gate literally flung itself onto the intruder. The fight was on. The fight initiator chased the other through the trees, across the big pond, and up the hill. Then the victorious vulture flew into the nest tree and fluffed its feathers in a display claiming the nest site.

Interesting goings-on in my backyard.

Vultures gather by at the lower gate. Two offer a display.

Vultures gather by at the lower gate. Two offer a display.

The vulture on the gate pounces on the other.

The vulture on the gate pounces on the other.

The fight ensues.

The fight ensues.

Th vulture delivers a parting shot (bite).

Th vulture delivers a parting shot (bite).

The intruder is chased away.

The intruder is chased away.

After successfully chasing the intruder away, the vulture perches in the nest tree.

After successfully chasing the intruder away, the vulture perches in the nest tree.

25 thoughts on “Vulture Turf Wars

  1. Mary,
    This has been an interesting week in your backyard. I’m so glad you captured this in word and photograph. I feel like I’m there. I am enjoying this mini series. Do you plan to create a trailer or video to announce your upcoming book? You have real-life footage.

    Like

    • I have a lot of turkey vulture footage. I have been stalking these creatures for reference photos for over a year. I even have some great video footage of dozens gathering to feed on roadkill. yum

      I do believe a trailer is in order…and I thought I would get a weekend off. lol 😉

      Like

  2. do you know that vultures in India have almost become extinct? And all due to a drug called Diclofenac, which was used liberally in large animal practice as an anti-inflammatory agent. Though it had no effect on the animal, at least not an adverse one, when the vultures fed on carcasses of cattle that had been injected with this drug, it led to crystallization in their kidneys causing their deaths!

    Like

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