Turkey vulture times two

by Brent Eades

Wendy Rampson shares this excellent shot of a pair of turkey vultures perched on her barn roof.

Most readers will have seen turkey vultures soaring overhead in Mississippi Mills over the years, though you may not have known what they were — they’re large birds, with wingspans of up to six feet, and recognizable by the shallow V shape of their wings in flight and their abrupt shifts in direction. You can often spot them near the intersection of Highway 417 and March Road, in spring and summer.

Seen closer, they’re also distinctive because of the finger-like feathers extending from the ends of their wings, and their bare red heads.

They are also, as I know from long experience, hard to get a good close-up photo of. When I’ve encountered turkey vultures on the ground they’ve usually vanished when I get closer to them with my camera.

This particular pair may be the parents of offspring, as turkey vultures usually share in their raising.