Don’t Call Vultures in Texas Buzzards
The turkey vulture soared over it’s prey as the dazzling sun beat down on the Texas highway, fresh roadkill was already being eaten by some black vultures and the turkey vultures were not to be denied. Landing close by, the red-headed beasts sauntered up to the decimated deer carcass like they owned the place, nudging the gray-headed birds out of the way. A small scuffle ensued, before both bunches of birds went back to ripping dead flesh from bones. When they were done with their meal, they flew off to find their roosting spot for the night, a hollowed out tree in the east Texas woods.
We appreciate, even if we don’t like to watch, vultures in Texas being the highway clean-up crew. The one thing they are not is Buzzards. We have two kinds of vultures here in Texas, according to several articles I read this morning. Turkey vultures are ugly, bald, red-headed birds that normally wait for something dead to eat, where Black vultures also eat dead prey but may not mind killing something if they have to.
The misnomer that they are buzzards started when the early settlers saw them and thought they looked like buzzards from their homes in Europe. They are not. Buzzards are part of the hawk family and vultures are their own species. With faces only a mother (vulture) could love, they are evidently sweet tempered birds that only provide a service no one else wants to do, yet they are viewed as gross, ugly, and disgusting. Poor misunderstood birds. They soar like hawks but on the ground look clumsy as they hop around their prey. They deserve some love and respect, but I’ll just do it from over here inside my comfy house if you all don’t mind. 😉