Here is King Buzz, the King of all the Turkey Buzzards of Rainbow Creek!! A long time ago, someone thought a group of these red-headed birds on the ground resembled wild turkeys, so they were named Turkey Buzzards. The official name became Turkey Vulture. In Texas, some birds kept the Buzzard name. For the 40 years I have been in the Hempstead area, the Buzzards return every winter in November and stay until March. They chose my tall pine trees to roost in. So Thanksgiving for me includes the return of my friends the Turkey Buzzards!
I did not know years ago that buzzards would be my friends! My Mom was a very good person. She loved the hummingbirds and God brought many hummingbirds for her to care for. I was not as good as Mom, a slight wild child. Imagine my surprise when Buzzards kept returning to my home every year! Some years hundreds have showed up. As they stay in my trees, I see them as they go up to bed and in the mornings when they leave at 6:30! I do not know why God blessed me with buzzards, but it is true. In the early years, I did not even like them as they were so ugly!
Time has taught me these birds are, in fact, beautiful special birds. We became friends about 10 years ago, when King Buzz took an interest in me and began to communicate with me. The buzzes meet in the afternoon in the sun tree before going up to the pines for the night. I began to sit out under the tree years ago taking photos of them. They seem to like that as they take turns showing off. When they see me come out on the deck, they take turns displaying their wings to me. They do this behavior to clean their wings and warm them. These particular birds have added this behavior when they see me with the camera!!!! I bring you the whole photoshoot from a couple of days ago where You will clearly see how some look at me while I am clicking the shot!!! The dead Sun Tree is on the lot next to mine, so I have only to walk outside to see them once they come in for the day! Funny, I wait for them!!!!!
I can say now I love these birds. I am honored to be the 'buzzard lady' and introduce You to these wonderful creatures. Most Humans do not get to view these birds in their habitat. (And, they do not 'show off' for most photographers)!! So we are totally Blessed this year. Have a Great Thanksgiving and get in touch what You are thankful for! I am thankful for my Buzzards!
Family I. VULTURINAE. VULTURINE BIRDS, or VULTURES.
GENUS I. CATHARTES, Illiger. TURKEY-VULTURE.
The Turkey-Buzzard was found in abundance on the Rocky Mountains and along the Columbia river by LEWIS and CLARK, as well as subsequently by Mr. TOWNSEND, although it is said by Mr. DAVID DOUGLAS to be extremely rare on the north-west coast of America. On the Island of Galveston in Texas, where it is plentiful, we several times found its nest, as usual, on the ground, but on level parts of salt marshes, either under the widespread branches of cactuses, or among tall grass growing beneath low bushes, on which Herons of different species also bred, their young supplying a plentiful store of food for those of the Vultures. The eggs, which never exceed two in number, measure two inches and seven-eighths in length, and one inch and seven and a half eighths in their greatest breadth.
The flight of the Turkey-Buzzard is graceful compared with that of the Black Vulture. It sails admirably either high or low, with its wings spread beyond the horizontal position, and their tips bent upward by the weight of the body. After rising from the ground, which it does at a single spring, it beats its wings only a very few times, to enable it to proceed in its usual way of sailing. Like the Black Vultures, they rise high in the air, and perform large circles, in company with those birds, the Fork-tailed Hawk, Mississippi Kite, and the two species of Crow. The Hawks, however, generally teaze them, and force them off toward the ground.
They are gregarious, feed on all sorts of food, and suck the eggs and devour the young of many species of Heron and other birds. In the Floridas, I have, when shooting, been followed by some of them, to watch the spot where I might deposit my game, which, if not carefully covered, they would devour. They also eat birds of their own species, when they find them dead. They are more elegant in form than the Black Vultures, and walk well on the ground or the roofs of houses. They are daily seen in the streets of the southern cities, along with their relatives, and often roost with them on the same trees. They breed on the ground, or at the bottom of hollow trees and prostrate trunks, and lay only two eggs. These are large, of a light cream-colour, splashed toward the great end with large irregular markings of black and brown. The young somewhat resemble those of the Black Vulture, and take a long time before they can fly. Both species drink water freely, and in doing this immerse their bill to the base, and take a long draught at a time. They both breed at the same period, or nearly so, and raise only one brood in the season.
I have found birds of this species apparently very old, with the upper parts of their mandibles, and the wrinkled skin around their eyes, so diseased as to render them scarcely able to feed amongst others, all of which seldom failed to take advantage of their infirmities. I have represented the adult male in full plumage, along with a young bird, procured in the autumn of its first year. The average weight of a full grown bird is 6 1/2 lbs., about 1 lb. less than that of the Carrion Crow.
TURKEY-VULTURE or TURKEY-BUZZARD, Vultur Aura, Wils., vol.ix. p. 96.
CATHARTES AURA, Bonap. Syn., p. 22.
CATHARTES AURA, TURKEY-VULTURE, Rich. & Swains., F. Bor. Amer., vol. ii. p. 4.
TURKEY-VULTURE or TURKEY-BUZZARD, Nuttall, Man., vol. ii. p. 43.
TURKEY-BUZZARD, Cathartes Aura, Aud., vol. ii. p. 296; vol. v. p. 339.
In the adult, the head and upper part of the neck are destitute of feathers, having a red wrinkled skin, sparsely covered with short black hair, and downy behind. Feathers of the neck full and rounded concealing the naked crop. Wings ample, long; the first quill rather short, the third and fourth longest. Tail longish, rounded, of twelve broad straight feathers.
Bill at the tip yellowish-white; the cere and the naked part of the head of a tint approaching to blood-red. Iris dark brown. Feet flesh-coloured, tinged with yellow; claws black. The general colour of the plumage is blackish-brown, deepest on the neck and under parts, the wing-coverts broadly margined with brown; the back glossed with brown and greenish tints; the tail purplish-black; the under parts of a sooty brown, on the breast glossed with green.
Length 32 inches; extent of wings 6 feet 4 inches; bill 2 1/2 along the ridge, 2 2/12 along the gap; tarsus 2 1/2, middle toe 3 1/2.
Young fully fledged.
The bill is, of course, shorter and more slender, its horny tip pale blue, black on the back; the skin of the head is flesh-coloured, the iris yellowish, the feet flesh-coloured. The plumage is nearly of the same colour as in the adult.
Your photostudy tonight is of my Buzzards of Rainbow Creek. Enjoy!
...this is brendasue signing off from Rainbow Creek. See You next Time!
Big Hug and Kisses to All
Of Course, one more Great Performance!
All Time Greatest