Saturday, March 15, 2014

A Fine Kettle of.. Turkey Vultures

We were in the back yard this afternoon, enjoying the pleasant desert weather when we noticed a kettle of about sixteen Turkey Vultures soaring almost directly overhead.

Following them to the southeast was a second kettle of about fifteen more birds.

We watched them soaring effortlessly high in the thermal for about 15 minutes as they glided in wide random patterns. Then as if by a signal, they all gathered up and soared off together towards the northwest.

(The dark arch in the bottom picture is the underside of our tiled patio cover.)

These pictures are what you get when you blindly aim your point-and-shoot camera at the sky in super-zoom mode, and hope for the best. Considering how high up these birds were (and how huge the sky is), we were pretty surprised to get anything at all in the field of view.

Yes, we checked for Swainson's Hawks. No, there weren't any.

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