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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Only a Mother Could Love a Face Like That...

One day when we were taking a ride on our lake recently, we looked up in the sky and there were at least 20 huge birds circling and circling one of the islands.

My husband said there were probably vultures there circling something dead.

Of course, I wanted to investigate what kind of vultures they were and see if I could get their picture, because I am sick like that.

Sure enough, when we got closer, we saw they were huge turkey vultures.

Here he is in all his uglier than ugly splendor:

At one point, we rounded the island and found about seven on one rock. But the sun was at the wrong angle to show you the picture of the bunch of them. But, at least I got closeups of these uglier-than-sin beauties:

Just look at their red heads!:

A trio of trouble:

The one on the right is looking over his shoulder at me, saying: "Whatchu lookin' at?":

A group sunbathing on the rocks:

This one is about to take off. He didn't like me taking his photo, apparently:

But, the absolute neatest part of the day was when we noticed them doing something very peculiar.

It was very hot and humid the day we caught them out on the island.

As I said before, the sun wasn't helping me photograph where they were because it was close to sunset and the sun was on the wrong side of them.

But after many tries, at least I caught one picture of them doing it.

They would spread out their wings verrrrry wide, as if they were airing out their feathers and armpits and just sit in the tree with their wings spread.

It was bizarre.

But it made for a GREAT photo of them:

Wow, huh?

It gives you an idea of how big they really are when they have their wings spread.

Darn that sun! It was the wrong angle for pictures of it.

Did I mention that yet?...


Alan Burnett said...

Ugly indeed.

Kearsie said...

Several times, at the first church my husband pastored, we would look up and see DOZENS AND DOZENS of buzzards circling above us. Six months after we left the church they closed their doors for good. EERIE OR WHAT.

wendyytb said...

Wow! Your pictures are amazing! I love how when you post, you take us to a place where we are not likely to ever visit and we see things we may never see again.

Thank you!

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

still fantastic! What were they going after though?

Brian Miller said...

lol. that last one, he's just catching a breeze. i am sure their mother does love them....maybe. lol.

Brittany said...

They are ugly. But that last picture is awesome!

grannyann said...

you are right, those are some ugly looking (face) birds. I guess if we ate on road kill we'd look that too.

DJan said...

Ewww! Vultures! How could anybody but their mother love them? Although, now that you show me these pictures, I guess maybe, just a little bit, I could see how they might be really cool. Love these shots! And yes, that last one shows how HUGE they are, which makes them double scary.

Wanda said...

Hi Joan...That trio did look like they were looking for trouble. I have seen plenty of turkey vultures near our local river...and 2 in our field once...but never like these photos...the last one was uhhhh magnificent...sorry, I just can't bring myself to say "beautiful turkey vultures"!!!

SquirrelQueen said...

They are very ugly but I love to watch them fly, they are so graceful in the air. I love the last shot with the wings spread.
Sometimes the light just won't cooperate.

The Retired One said...

Alan: They are so ugly, they are awesome. ha

Kearsie: That IS eerie. And Weird.

Wendytb: I love taking them and when I take them, I feel the same way. I always feel like I may never get the same opportunity again.

Roshni: I don't know...maybe they circle and circle every time they look for something to eat...because we went out there several nights in a row and they were circling about the same time every night around the same place.

Brian: I really think he was trying to cool off by spreading his was very hot and humid that day. Try it at the office the next time you are hot and see what reactions you get. :-}

Brittany: I am STILL mad that the light was from behind him and that I couldn't get good shots that day. But I kind of like the light coming thru his feathers tho.

DJan: They are so ugly, but so magnificent in size! I kind of like that about them.

Wanda: Yes, magnificent is a better word..but beauty is in the eye of the beholder! ha

SquirrelQueen: I know! I do like the light coming thru his feathers, though...that effect was neat but it washed out the rest of the photo.
Oh well, I was lucky to see him spread his wings so close to us, so I am happy to have captured that!

Ratty said...

Wonderful shots of these turkey vultures, especially that last one, with the wings spread. This is now another bird I want to see for myself one day. You've inspired me!

L. D. Burgus said...

We drove around four or five of these guys just last Monday. They were cleaning up road kill on the highway and they really didn't want to give up the road. Can't imagine having one hit a windshield. Those are great photos of an unusual bird. Keeping cool is new for me.

Loree said...

They truly are ugly ... the stuff of nightmares.

rainfield61 said...

You should have a good life with them. My monkey attacked me when I started to get nearer.

Ginnymo said...

I see these things sometimes way up high. Have never seen one that close. They sure are ugly..Ha! You got some great shots of them!!! I also want to thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving those nice comments.

The Retired One said...

Ratty: Hope you get to see one then, up and personal. Just look up to the sky alot and watch for them circling...they land pretty close to where they circle. These guys rested in the same trees/ same island every night around the same time.

L.D.: Yes, this is the first time we have seen them do that..they were all spreading their wings and just sitting in the tree doing it. Darn that sun...NONE of them were in a tree where the sun wasn't directly in the way of the camera.

Loree: I wouldn't go that far..they didn't scare me in person, but lord, they are ugly! :-}

Rainfield: Darn those monkeys!! Of course, I bet they are smarter than turkey vultures, that's why!

Ginnymo: You are more than welcome. I loved your pictures and will be watching your blog regularly. You are sooooo lucky to have all these animals coming in your yard. I have to search and search our lake and woods for miles to catch some of the ones I finally get.

Cathy Clementz said...

Pretty cool shots!!! It reminds me of a story about Dan and the buzzards that I'll have to post on Yarns one of these days! IF I REMEMBER!!!

Bernie said...

Ugly got some wonderful shots, especially the one with the wings widely spread, none of your subjects are ever ugly to me my friend, I love the time and attention you give to all your photo's......:-) Hugs

The Retired One said...

Cathy: Oh yeah, I gotta hear the story about buzzards and Dan...I will await your post. :-}

Bernie: They are ugly in a good way to me too. Their size and wing span amaze me. I am so glad you enjoyed them.

ashley folkema said...

I agree! These are the strangest birds.

The Retired One said...

Ashley: and in person, they are SO huge too!

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I retired in June 2008 and started my blog in November 2008. I worked at several jobs as a Registered Nurse prior to retirement. I LOVE being retired! Blogging has offered me a whole new venue to start writing again and to share new hobbies such as gardening, birdwatching and sharing my nature photography. If you like my blog, PLEASE click on "follow this blog". Having a lot of followers reading my blog gives me incentive to continue to do photography and to continue to write. I also LOVE comments, so I encourage you to leave me a comment after you read my posts. Thanks everyone, for taking the time to read me!!

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