Turkey Vultures #2 . Lehigh County . Watercolor . 12" x 16"
... there are two indigenous species of vulture around here... the Black Vulture and the Turkey Vulture. I am partial toward the Turkey Vulture. Turkey Vultures are larger and more colorful than the all black vulture... and soar on graceful, dihedral wings over the thermals for hours. We also have a large roaming deer population... and as neighboring farms and woodland have fallen to developers and the transplanted city folk that now inhabit the land... a lot more deer are hit and killed by automobiles. Whenever I find deer road kill along the edge of my farm... I drag the carcass into my fields and wait for these birds to arrive. And they do. First one and then a dozen and a half more, circle over the meal. They spiral down and take turns landing for the banquet. It is usually a mixture with a majority of turkeys and a few black vultures following along. There is a clear hierarchy to the feeding order and each bird waits its turn until allowed in... though the black vulture appears to be more aggressive. Deer have a very tough hide. Varmints come in at night and help open them up. Crows work the periphery. In one to two weeks... everything that is marginally edible is consumed. I love watching these birds.