Roadkill and a Vulture

Yesterday as my wife was going out, she came back in to tell me about a crow and a large bird down the street. A turkey vulture was picking at a dead squirrel, with a crow watching. Crows crowded the turkey vulture. A hawk circled. Excitement in a suburb near San Francisco.

Here’s a closer look at the squirrel and birds. From wikipedia, a “turkey vulture is a scavenger and feeds almost exclusively on carrion. It finds its food using its keen eyes and sense of smell, flying low enough to detect the gases produced by the beginnings of the process of decay in dead animals.”

roadkill, a crow, and a turkey vulture
roadkill, a crow, and a turkey vulture

The turkey vulture continued  feeding, and a second crow hopped closer.

turkey vulture feeding while crows watch
turkey vulture feeding while crows watch (click to enlarge)

A car backed out of a driveway, and the birds flew to wires across the street,

vulture flies up to wires
vulture flies up to wires (click to enlarge)

where the crows crowded the vulture.

crows crowd the turkey vulture
crows crowd the turkey vulture (click to enlarge)

The vulture flew back down to the squirrel on the street, and the crows followed.

crows follow vulture down to the street
crows follow vulture back to the roadkill (click to enlarge)
vulture picks at the squirrel while crows wait
vulture picks at the squirrel while crows wait (click to enlarge)

A minute later, the turkey vulture flew away. Looking for the vulture in the sky, I saw a juvenile, red-tailed hawk circling overhead, through the telephone wires.

turkey vulture takes off
turkey vulture takes off (click to enlarge)
red-tailed hawk flies above roadkiill
red-tailed hawk flies above roadkill

Perhaps the hawk is the same one we saw Sunday. I looked for the squirrel in the street a half hour later, but it was gone.

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Published by

charley280

I enjoy travel, art, food, photography, nature, California native plants, history, and yoga. I am a retired software engineer. The gravatar is a Nuttall's woodpecker that visited our backyard.

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