The Gathering

Just before retiring for the evening, the silhouettes of six buzzards are
seen on a patch of ground near Cottonwood, Arizona.

These migratory birds return from Mexico in March, spending the Spring and
Summer months here in Arizona.

With wings spanning six feet, Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura) are
fascinating birds, scavengers that are adapted to feast on roadkill and
survive broiling AZ summer heat.

Turkey Vultures have a unique defensive technique: they VOMIT to repel a
threat. Sure, their habits may seem a bit repulsive, but turkey vultures
are a gentle, charismatic and misunderstood bird species and they're quite
worthy of our celebration.

For the scavenging Turkey Vulture, sometimes

the waiting is the hardest part.

March 21, 2002


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