Posted by: atowhee | September 5, 2016


Did you know that last Saturday was International Vulture Day?  Neither did I.  Here’s the website.

TVS ABUV RIDGHere is a kettle of Turkey Vultures above a volcanic ridge along the western shore of Klamath Lake in southern Oregon.  TVs love those updrafts produced by sunshine and rugged topography.


Here’s a gallery of Griffon Vultures see in southeastern France in 2012.  They are unquestionably my favorite vulture on the planet.GRFFN VULTRS15-ARC GRFFN VULTRS15--LIGHT HEADIn this gorge you can hike to the top of the cliff and watch the gregarious vultures go past in groups, below where you stand. grffn vultrs17-gorge GRFFN VULTURS16--BEST SHOT GRFFNVULTRS12This bird’s wingspan is just under nine feet, comparable to our American White Pelican and only slightly less than the California Condor, north America’s wingspan champ. GRFFNVULTURS10-BELOWWatching them pass below is an unparralled thrill. GRFFNVULTURS14Europe has five species of raptor called “vulture.” They are not closely related to our American vultures.  Each of the European species is in a separate genus so they are not close cousins either.  The Griffon Vulture is big but is only the fourth largest Euro-vulture.  Black, Egyptian and Lammergeier have longer wingspans than Mr. Griffon by a few inches. The European vultures are more predatory than ours and thus have fully feathered heads, the Griffon being a suede-like blond color.VULTURE SIGN--PROVENCAL OCT 11-DROME-2012 050This is the town of Remuzat, northeast of Nyons, France in the mountainous area nearing the Swiss/French border. This is in the Department of Drome.  These vultures have only recently been reintroduced to this part of their historic range.  They have continued to breed and survive for centuries in western Spain with a large breeding colony at Montfrague, the single besyt reason I know to bird Spain in spring. Hundreds of nest on a single cliff face.VULTURE HOUSE

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