Monday, January 17, 2011

Birds I'd Rather Not Have at the Feeders

Another Saturday, another road trip since it wasn't snowing or raining or threatening to snow or rain.

This time, TB and I decided to do one of the North Carolina Scenic Byways that we hadn't done in the past - the one called North Durham. It really wasn't done in hopes of getting any good snapshots. I've decided that winter in North Carolina just isn't that conducive to taking photos that show off the countryside to its best. Frankly, NC is just brown, brown and more brown with green being supplied by our pine trees. Sometimes we get snow, but TB and I aren't taking any day trips when it snows as southern drivers can't drive in snow and the transportation departments don't scrape and salt those back country roads we like to drive on.

But we did see birds. On a back gravel road we saw turkey vultures, so-called because they have red, featherless heads just like turkeys.

Then as we were on the last leg of the scenic byway, TB looks to left and says, "Wow, those are some really big crows on that tobacco barn."

I glanced up and slammed on the brakes as they weren't big crows, but black vultures. I rarely see black vultures as turkey vultures have crowded these vultures out of their territories. I parked the car across the road and went to take snapshots before they flew away.

We are also at the northern most part of their territory. You won't find the black vulture in any part of the United States except the South.

And, no, I'd rather not have them show up at the bird feeders in the small garden.


moreidlethoughts said...

HAH! Take it from "a New Yorker"...a lot of drivers up here can't drive in snow!

The plumage on the black looks extremely healthy.

frayedattheedge said...

Wow - we definitely don't get birds like that over here!!

ps - we have a pink sky ...... just a little bit of a sunset, but a welcome sight!!

Susie said...

Those 2 are certainly a pair of gangsters!

Dan said...

Wow, it must be amazing to see birds like that in the wild, but you're right, probably not the kind of guys you'd like to see in the garden.

Dartford Warbler said...

What striking birds, especially the black vultures.

I have only once seen wild vultures, in India, where a crowd of them were gathered in a tree, waiting for a sick cow underneath to die.

Carolina said...

Even though they are not the most appealing and cutest of birds, I bet you were thrilled to see them. We don't have vultures (not the birdie kind anyway) in the Netherlands. Maybe in a zoo somewhere, but not in the wild. Great shots.

Karen said...

Di: They both looked healthy and sort of hungry which is why I stood across the road to take pictures.

Anne: I saw on your blog that the snow had mostly melted and sun! I bet you and Malcolm are most appreciative of that. Yes, I looked up vultures (since they are world-wide) and, no, Scotland doesn't have any native ones.

Susie: I know they are useful in cleaning up carrion in the wild and they don't attack living things, but, still, I want to stay far, far away.

Dan: I'd have a heart attack if I saw them on the fence in the small garden.

DW: As I was saying to Anne, I see that the UK doesn't have native vultures. I did read an article in The Guardian about a vulture that escaped from a raptor center, but that one was native to India. You see them quite frequently here (mostly the turkey vultures) circling over something that has died in the woods or on the road.

Carolina: You're right, they are ugly, ugly birds. But I was thrilled to death to see the black vultures perched on top of the tobacco barn. From the looks of the roof, it is a regular hangout.