Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Turkey Vultures & Condors

The Turkey Vulture is a large soaring bird that feeds on carrion. It's recognized by the featherless red head, white bill, large brown-black body and yellow feet. I spotted these along Vineyard Dr just west of Templeton, California, in early March 2013.
Turkey Vultures fence sitting, west of Templeton, California. 
Turkey Vultures wing span averages 6 ft,  making them excellent flyers.
Turkey Vultures and Condors are "birds of a feather," with the Condor simply being a very large vulture. Its wing span averages about 9 ft.

Imagining what early Native Americans, e.g., the Chumash, must have thought seeing this giant bird soaring overhead, I wrote:

We watched this giant bird
soar so far above us
Surely its wings
would shade us from the sun
and beating the air
would cause the birch to sway and bend
the leaves to flow along the dry river bed
and soaring into the heavens
would bring us rain
So great a creature
we made it a god

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