I don't know exactly when I first noticed the Vulture, It dark body and sun burnt head. I only know that During the course of my life I have watched them. Swooping, diving, gliding effortlessly across the sky, perched hither and thither around the area in which I consider home, or just dealing with that which I would not consider even approaching.
This Spring I have had the opportunity to take my experience with them to a whole new level.
Early in March my father called from the barn ordering me to the barn Now! I raced down expecting to find a rabbit dead or a cat or dog needing me for some reason or other, it wasn't. My father had found, behind the barn, a nest. My first sight of it was my black dog Toffee dashing off with the egg in her mouth. My best friend eventually caught her and returned the egg.
Vena, As I named the mother Vulture. Lost her mate about two weeks later, leaving us to help feed her. Vena would not for any reason... ok she did some leave her nest so we brought meat scraps down to her. I want to thank the person who brought us Beef Liver, she loved it.
She nested for about a month. Since I was down there everyday to take care of my rabbits, Vena and I created a ... standoffish type relationship. I would sit in my chair about ten feet distant and just sing. At first she would lie low and try to hide slowly she got used to me and I was soon just another part of the hubbub of the barnyard noise she would, even growl along with me. Yes Vultures Growl.
Then April 26 early in the morning the eggs hatched. Two brown fluffy vulture chicks no bigger than my fist. One by one my family came down to see the newest arrivals. Most schools watch Bluebirds or Cardinals or Mocking Birds but not us, We watched the two of them grow up.
People have described the sound they make as 'like standing beside a highway at rush hour' I'd say that that is a pretty good way of putting it.
For about twelve weeks I watched the baby vultures grow from chick, to fledgling, to a spoiled, feathered puppy that followed me everywhere.
Vashti and Vonnor, is what I called them Vashti is the one lying down and Vonnor is the one standing up in the picture above.
The greatest day was when the started flying, Oh it was so funny. They would hop about then try to take off, fail, get up, and try again.
I, like with the mother, though I was near them, never got close. I would be walking up from the barn and hear a noise, turn and there they were.
So it was. I loved them, in a way. Sometimes they would hide. Honestly I missed them when they did.
As the cool air came upon us the two alighted on top of the Rabbit hutch just as I arrived, They nodded twice then took off again to join the hundreds of others circling...
And so I have gained a greater appreciation for these 'low down, discussing critters.' Never will I ever look at a vulture the same way after all I have experienced, and learned.