Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Vultures are Back!

I’ve been waiting and watching…and wondering when it is the Turkey Vultures return. They appeared yesterday, their huge dark shadows slowly crossed my yard…which is in their flight path coming home. It is so neat to watch them, not at all unlike planes circling an airport waiting for clearance to land; the big birds soar and glide waiting their turn for a spot on the tree. I wonder if there is a hierarchy regarding who gets to roost where. At any rate, they have a rookery, if that is what their tree is, around the corner from my home. It is not safe to walk under the tree, but I still love to watch the big guys. . It is so neat to leave for work on a foggy morning and watch their hulking forms facing the sun, wings open like black robes…seeking to warm up before taking flight. I counted a dozen or so in the tree yesterday, and this evening it seems they may include a new tree a few hundred yards away…and directly across the way from my house. Way cool! It’s late, but I got one quick photograph.

I also now have a sort of ‘marker’ to remind me when the Vultures are due home. I was out poking around in my yard after work today, and see my Peonies are coming up. It may snow tonight, so I think it’s a bit early to clean them up just yet, but it’s lovely to see their bright red shoots unfurl under last year’s detritus.

I have been thinking of how to meet other birders in this small little town and at the suggestion of a new friend at the Arkansas Valley Audubon Society (a huge group based about an hour from here, in Pueblo) I’ve been looking online at the various Birding Festivals around Colorado, like the Mtn. Plover Festival here. It’s getting harder and harder for really small towns to make it; these Festivals can actually help. I’ve got to learn more about what’s here, when (apparently good Eagling happens in February), and what might be interesting, exciting and different from what others are doing. Donna regularly organizes field trips for the group; a couple have been here, but I’ve yet to meet other birders. She suggested perhaps I get involved in the Annual Migratory Bird Count, which occurs the second Saturday in May. Perhaps this will be a way to get my feet wet, so to speak. Hey, I’m game. Thanks, Donna!

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