Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Please don't feed the vultures

They look scalped and angry, with sharp talons ready to eviscerate anything that sits still long enough to look deceased. No matter how you look at 'em, vultures ain't pretty.

So why would I want to keep looking?

This pair and I observed each other carefully at a local wetland this morning. I kept trying not to look like roadkill while they craned their heads to closely follow my movements. Can they turn their heads all the way around? It sure looks that way.

I was looking for green herons and I finally saw a pair, but they were too quick for me to catch on film. Geese paddled slowly through a fine mist that made them look like mirages, and in the trees orioles and warblers sang. I don't know warblers well at all so I hoped a photo would help me determine whether I was seeing yellow-rumped or prothonotary warblers or common yellowthroats or Wilson's or hooded or mourning warblers, but I think this is just a plain old yellow warbler. Also sighted: tree swallows, eastern bluebirds, sandpipers, and a great blue heron.

I've already forgotten the song of the warbler but I won't soon forget the glare of those vultures. What do they want from me? Whatever it is, they can't have it.


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