Monday, September 12, 2011

Bathing buzzards

Turkey vultures, or buzzards, are common in Ohio.  I saw them when I was a kid, and I see them every time I come home to visit. A lot of them.  But this morning I saw turkey vultures do something I’d never seen before:  take a sun bath.
Jim and I were walking at the Wellington Reservation, part of the Lorain County Metro Park System and close to my mom’s house, when we saw a half dozen vultures sitting in a tree with their wings spread.  I got on the 'net as soon as I got home and found out that vultures do this to dry their wings, bake off bacteria, and get warm.  I also learned that they do this most often following damp or rainy nights and it rained like heck here yesterday.  

Some other buzzard info:  
Buzzard stomachs contain digestive acids that kill virtually all bacteria and viruses, so they actually sanitize what they eat.

A group of vultures is called a "venue.”
Buzzards fly by spiraling upward until they catch an air current, and then ride the current.
When I was a kid, I actually laid down in a field for about an hour, hoping to attract some spiraling buzzards and get a better look.  Didn’t work.


  1. Interesting. I think I have a buzzard stomach. Lucky me!

  2. Steve! Google "Luke Fickell photo." Fickell is Ohio States' new coach and he could be the missing Veltri triplet. Good luck with the buzzard stomach!