Theropod Thursday 28: Wyoming wildlife 1 – Turkey vultures

When I spent nearly six weeks driving around the US West/Midwest in 2003, I didn’t see a single vulture that I got close enough to to take a good photo. Partly, my old digital camera is to blame (meagre zoom), but partly also the fact that there were extremely few vultures on show. This time, I was much luckier!

This one I already used as a preview image. It shows a Turkey vulture (Cathartes aura), a carrion eater widespread in the Americas. I took it on US 287 South-East of Lander, WY. I saw two vultures busy with a (roadkill?) carcass, stopped and got out of the car to walk closer. I could smell the carcass quite well, thankyouverymuchindeed.

Here’s the same photo, but this time cropped and not size reduced.

and here’s the two of them, flying off when I got too close.

They settled on the road-paralleling fence a few dozens of meters down the road, after making a large circle to check me out.

“Vulture 2 on approach, 10 m, calling post 25” – “Vulture 2, you are cleared to land on post 25!”

Touchdown – The vulture has landed!

and here is their lunch (warning, PG 13 imagery):

There were quite a few more Turkey vulture around, including one flying up from a roadkill that we were approaching at 55 mph. I got off three shots (the top secret of photographing birds on the wing: be ready!) , the best one being this – pity I didn’t get the whole animal:

The rest of the photos, from these and other occasions, are rather unremarkable, as most show the animals from rather far away and against the bright sky. Thus, enough for now.

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About Heinrich Mallison

I'm a dinosaur biomech guy working at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin.
This entry was posted in Aves, Dinopics, Dinosauria, Maniraptora, Theropoda. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Theropod Thursday 28: Wyoming wildlife 1 – Turkey vultures

  1. Pingback: Wyoming Wildlife 6: more theropods (includes flying caprimulgids!) | dinosaurpalaeo

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