Saturday, April 21, 2012

Buzzards, Australian and American

Wildlife enthusiasts will love these photos from a nature park in Australia:

http://moonvoice.dreamwidth.org/1492739.html

Their Black-Breasted Buzzard is obviously not a close relative of the birds we call buzzards or vultures, but then the European birds originally called vultures aren't close relatives of these birds either.

By way of thanks to Moonvoice, I'll share a bit about Chia, the friendly Black Vulture at Bays Mountain Park in Kingsport, Tennessee. Though not the prettiest kind of bird, or the most pleasant to be around, Chia is very tame, enjoys watching birdwatchers at the park, and has posed for photos by many bloggers. (She can't fly around and pick up roadkill for herself, and undoubtedly thinks she's trained humans to deliver it to her.)

It must be admitted that this is the clearest photo of Chia Google turned up:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/84552342@N00/287341001/

Though this one is apparently supposed to activate, on some browsers, a live video showing how she drinks, with an audio track of Chia "barking like a dog" (her species don't sing):

http://debbiedunn.wordpress.com/2009/07/17/black-vulture-drinking/

And this one shows how affectionate she is, as well as showing other popular attractions at Bays Mountain:

http://thewandererschuckandkate.blogspot.com/2008/08/morning-with-chia-vulture.html

In the Caribbean Islands, my late husband said, the Black Vulture is called "Corbo" or "Carrion Crow," although it's obviously not a crow. And when I looked for images of the Turkey Vulture, a site that begins with a lot of blather about evolution but does show lots of pictures of this bird in all life stages, if you scroll down, noted that in Belize it's called "John Crow." This is inexcusable. With its red head and off-white pinions, the Turkey Vulture doesn't look anything like a crow...

http://vulturesociety.homestead.com/TVFacts.html

Here's its page at Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkey_Vulture

Vultures are too common a sight along the roads where I live to have been mentioned in a phenology post. I see them often, usually so far away I can't even tell whether the heads are red or black, which is probably the most enjoyable way to see American vultures.