Vultures Keeping Up With the Times

Written by Theresa-Marie Wilson

Theresa-Maria Wilson has been a journalist covering the North Coast and South County area for over 20 years. She is also the founder of Cat Noir CC and is currently working on a novel.

January 15, 2022

Soaring in the skies above, turkey vultures can be a little ominous. Who knew they are advocates for public health protocol.
A Los Osos reader, Dr. Ted Hill, sent in these images of avian comedians out in nature. In the first photo, turkey vultures were spotted practicing social distancing at Montaña de Oro. As evident in the second photo, the raptors clearly know how to read and are rather law-abiding birds.

Fun Facts About Turkey Vultures
• Turkey vultures are the only scavenger birds that can’t kill their prey.
• Their scientific name in Latin means “cleansing breeze.” We’re guessing
it isn’t likely that you will see a vulture as a logo for your favorite detergent or hair care product.
• They feed by thrusting their heads into the body cavities of rotting animals. (Hope you weren’t eating when you read that.)
• The turkey vulture has the largest olfactory system of all birds and can smell carrion over a mile away.
• Groups of perched vultures are called a wake and Groups spiraling upward to gain altitude are called kettles proving that they have the best marketing team ever.
• If a turkey vulture is disturbed or harassed, it will throw up on whoever is bothering it, so leave them alone.

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