April 06, 2010

How to Tell a Vulture from a Hawk

Turkey vultures are back—we saw a dozen flying over Pueblo on the weekend.

This morning M. went rushing out to the front porch, not sure if she had caught a glimpse of vultures or of red-tailed hawks, soaring on the gentle spring breezes here at the house. (Gusts up to 66 mph were recorded yesterday.)

Easy to tell them apart, I suggested. Just go lie down in the meadow and hold still. Hawks won't  be interested.

And what I said about the evening grosbeaks leaving was not true. They went for a jaunt and came back, and now a dozen or more are working their way through the black oil sunflower seeds, crunch crunch crunch.

UPDATE: I drove to the post office later after writing the above, and there on a roadkill carcass in the borrow pit were eight or nine turkey vultures, a little more than a mile from our house, no distance at all to a vulture.

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