Sunday, January 13, 2008

Holy Birds, Holy Trees

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we worship vultures!

You think that's crazy? Well, who or what do you worship? Some jealous bearded dude in the sky who thinks you're never good enough? Maybe the Almighty Dollar? Or, you bottom feeder, yourself?

Ever seen a sky full of vultures, honing in on tall pine trees for a night's roost? It's a moving sight indeed.

This afternoon I watched the vultures congregate in my personal Mecca, Wenonah, New Jersey. They wafted over me so close to the ground I could hear the soft swish of their wing feathers. I don't know how I missed this in all the years of buzzard-gazing, but they use their tails as rudders for steering, as well as their wings.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Behold the Sacred Thunderbird, rider of the air, custodian of the planet, imparting to the living viewer nothing more than a spectacle of grace.

Our operators are standing by to take your call.
Photo: Vultures of Wenonah, New Jersey


BBC said...

Um, vultures in New Jersey? I question that, especially this time of year, they are a warm weather bird. The birds in that picture don't look like vultures to me.

But I could be wrong. Feel free to correct me if I am.

yellowdog granny said...

if you had been in dallas you would have seen them circling the home bench...

Peg said...

They look like turkey buzzards to me...I have seen them in the Northeast before. I love ugly birds! Here in Albany the city has a faction of people who hate the many crows and try to scare them away with recorded "cawing" noises coming from machines mounted on cars they drive arond "infested" neighborhoods...since when do they have less right to the neighborhood than we do?

Anne Johnson said...

Billy, either those are a mixture of turkey and black vultures, or the New Jersey borough of Wenonah (and myself) don't know what a buzzard is. It's mild enough this close to the coast that the buzzards don't have to migrate.

Buzzardbilly said...

That could be a picture of the roost that's across the street from my house in WV. If this was your first time seeing them come in in the evening, you really need to go take a mug of coffee and sit to watch them around 7 or 8 in the morning (depending on when the sun starts to warm things up a little).

They stretch their little legs out to sun their muscles and warm up before taking off to fly. Lots of other wing-stretching and waking up motions too. If you happen to hit upon a morning when someone's splatted a splattable on the road, they love a morning feast and are a hoot to watch taking care of business.

Stay in your car too. They will challenge a small car on the road for morning food: stand on top if it, stretch wings almost all the way out, and give you one dirty open-beaked stare.

Needless to say, I love them with all my heart. And their dropped feathers are mighty nifty too.

Buzzardbilly said...

*stand up on top of it* meaning the food, not the car.

Anne Johnson said...

Buzzardbilly, you have two choices. Live with the knowledge that you have made me insanely jealous, or part with your home address so that I can come for an extended stay.