Wishing everyone a happy International Vulture Awareness Day!
I almost let it slip by due to inattention, but then there it was — a Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura, teetering over our neighborhood, low over the end of the street, and I remembered that today’s their day!
And let me just add: PERVIOUS NOSTRIL! No carrion-clogged air inlets here after rummaging around in a ripe ribcage. No tissue to clear your nares of noxious tissue? No worries — wide-open nostrils are easy to clean of greasy shreds — just one quick sneeze or shake of the head and it’s gristle-be-gone, carcase-ex, rid-O-rot!
(Photo A.Shock, of a Liberty Wildlife vulture on the glove at Boyce Thompson Arbortetum)