Friday, July 8, 2016

Day Job


Gray Vulture

A faint tapping sound came from upstairs, like the sound of someone knocking on the window. When I went up to investigate, I saw a Black Vulture at the large window in the living room, tapping softly. I was pretty sure I knew what it wanted.

About a week earlier, Don, bless his heart, had hit the wall about the squirrels that were taking over our bird feeder. It's squirrel hunting season here, and Don's a hunter, so I'll let you fill in the blanks. Having eaten his share of squirrels in his youth from necessity, and not from love of the meat, Don opted to donate these to our local clean up crew, the vultures. For a while, every morning, one squirrel was disappearing from the feeder and appearing, belly up, on a tall stump out from the kitchen. The vultures were efficient at disposal.



But now there had been a two day absence of squirrel meat, and the vulture at the window seemed to be asking politely, 
"Did you forget something?"



The next day, and for some time since then, there have been two Black Vultures here regularly. 
They are a lot like pets, in that they expect to be fed. 



Unlike Turkey Vultures, Black Vultures are almost handsome, with their amour-like head gear and white stockings. 



They perch on our deck... 



preen themselves...



drink from the birdbath...



lounge on the stump where the squirrels have appeared...



stretch, and generally make themselves comfortable.



 One of them even tried to take a bite of our door mat.  
It may have been a ploy for sympathy, as in "See how hungry I am?" 



Occasionally, they get demanding, flying up and striking the window with force, but for the most part, they are friendly, and even let us join them on the deck if we stay quietly in our corner.

Of course, with all this activity, squirrels are not coming around as much. The vultures haven't seemed to figure out that their frequent presence is contrary to their interests. So, until they do, we'll enjoy the entertainment. Soon enough, they'll get hungry and find it necessary to return to their regular day jobs--policing this area's highways, county roads, farms and woodlands for opportunities to put on their bibs and get back to work.





13 comments:

Margaret Adamson said...

Marvelous series of shots of the vultures. I hope you have a lovely weekend.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, what an awesome post on the Black Vultures. They do seem like pets begging for their food. You have fantastic photos and poses. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

Brian King said...

These are fabulous! Vultures are one of my favorites! How lucky you are to have all of this in your backyard! :-)

Lea said...

What a fun post!
Black Vultures certainly are more visually appealing than the Turkey Vultures we see here.
As for the squirrels, we ate a lot of squirrels when I was a kid. Mother would make a big pot of dumplings with them, so one squirrel would feed the four of us. They are terrible pests now, but I can't bring myself to kill them.

Anni said...

Each and every image is just outstanding!! What wonderful portraits.

Being an avid birder myself, I'm visiting from the linking tool at Eileen's Saturday Critters. Thanks for sharing. If you'd like, you can add your link today at I'd Rather B Birdin'.

Jennifer Richardson said...

Fascinating! I wish I had a squirrel hunter in my back yard.
Ours are bold and fat and take no prisoners. They help themselves
to the birdfeeders and gardens and potted plants. I'm inspired:)
Your photos find beauty in even beasts:)
-Jennifer

Felicia said...

Wow they sort of are handsome...sort of.

bettyl-NZ said...

Your post made me smile to know that these wild birds are so friendly! Your photos are just great!

Anni said...

I've returned today to say...Thank you kindly for sharing this at I'd Rather B Birdin' for us birders to appreciate!!

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

What great shots of the vultures!

I have birds that make noise when they don't get their suet (W.V.) or seeds (in D.C.). Imagine needing to get fresh squirrels, lol!
~

Findlay Wilde said...

What amazing birds to get in your garden. Fantastic.

mick said...

A very interesting post and great photos to go with it.

June Caedmon said...

Excellent captures and commentary, Connie! They really are beautiful birds.