It’s International Vulture Awareness Day, so here’s some vulture verse. Or perhaps Vulture Culture?
Poetic license categories: 1) the photo is of a Himalayan Griffon Vulture, not a condor (photo Uttarakhand, India, A.Shock 2014); 2) Egyptian Vultures do prefer to eat eggs, but it’s their entire color-scheme that’s yellow and white, with elegant white quills and bare yellow facial skin, which makes “legs” here a synecdoche, where a word for a part of something stands for the whole thing; 3) Kites are not vultures, they are kites, a different sort of raptor altogether, but the word “kite” has been used to refer to scavenging birds of prey for a long time, especially across the Pond; 4) likewise Buzzards are not vultures, but actually buteo-type hawks like the Red-tailed Hawk. The word “buzzard” is American vernacular for Turkey Vulture, widely used and understood in the U.S. As far as I’m concerned, the only downside of the usage is that it leaves a lot of Americans surprised when they find out we’ve got actual vultures overhead. That brings us full circle to the importance of International Vulture Awareness Day!
“Keep Calm and CarriOn!”