The ever-popular Turkey Vulture


Turkey VultureCathartes aura.  If they gave it a Latin name, I guess that makes it an official species.  The name conjures up images of vultures soaring above the desert while some poor soul is crawling and looking for water.  (That reminds me of a joke, which I may or may not tell at the end of this post).  Anyway, we must be thankful for these creatures as they do much for us.  For example, they keep the highways clean.  They, the highways, are to the vultures, what fast-food places are to us.  I think they even have their own name, “Carrion Carry-out”.

I took this photo Monday morning, while driving through Spring Creek park.  There wasn’t much other bird activity.  Just several of these vultures, and this one was very cooperative to hang around for the camera.  Click image to see an enlargement.

Turkey Vulture

  • Canon EOS 7D
  • Canon 100-400mm zoom lens
  • 1/1600 sec. @ f6.3
  • ISO 1000
  • Lens focal distance  310mm
  • Metering – partial
  • Shutter priority

Okay, here’s the joke:

This guy is crawling across the vast, sandy, and dry desert looking for water to satisfy his thirst.  After several hours under the broiling sun, he comes upon a small tent.  A guy steps out and says, “Ya want to buy a tie?”

The thirsty one replies, “No, but I need a drink of water.  Do you have any?”

The guy in the tent says.  “I sure don’t.  But if you crawl over that big sand dune there, you will see a restaurant on the other side.  I think you can get a drink of water there.”

So off the man crawls, heading over the top of the sand dune.  About three hours he comes back to the guy in the tent.

He says, “That guy must be your brother.  He says I can’t get in without a tie”  🙂

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10 thoughts on “The ever-popular Turkey Vulture

  1. What a wonderful photo of this majestic bird, Bob! It seriously brought a few tears to my eyes, seeing him so closeup like that! Beautiful, Bob! I adore this bird, so beautiful in flight and they do indeed clean up our messes. I even read at some point years ago that after feeding they’ll fly up to like 20 miles just to find water to clean themselves. Seriously love this bird. And your joke had me chuckling. 🙂

    • Thanks a lot, Katie. I thought that you would enjoy it. Now every time is see one of these, and there are hundreds around here, I will be reminded of you, and how much you like them. 🙂

  2. I had never heard of a turkey vulture until this past weekend when we saw tons of them at Lake Cumberland KY. Ironic that you would post a photo of one today. I love the joke too. 🙂

  3. A great shot of this awsome bird. It is amamzing how big they are. I am very greatful for them becuase we have a lot of roadkill on our highays. And from the neck down, they can be very inspiring. But, Oh that head!

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