Vulture View, my long-awaited book with Steve Jenkins, has just been released by Holt. Yippee! Look for a review of it in the October 15th issue of Booklist.
For those of you that want to learn more about vultures, here are some good links.
Turkey Vulture Society
The Peregrine Fund
Bird Info site
Kern River Valley Turkey Vulture Festival (CA)
National Geo News Article 2001 About Flourishing T.V. Population
East Coast Vulture Festival, Wenonah, NJ
I have had plenty of interactions with turkey vultures. When I was in high school I worked at Pete Conroy’s raptor rehabilitation center at Furman University in Greenville, SC. We took care of a young, rather clueless turkey vulture. I learned then just how shy and retiring these birds are in comparison with hawks and owls. I also learned how to gather roadkill. Yes, whenever I saw a dead opossum, I would pull my little blue King Cab to the side of the road and go pick up the carcass. This involved grabbing its long pinkish tail and swinging the thing into the back of the cab. This was dinner for the turkey vulture. When you are taking care of animals, you do whatever is necessary. Actually, it’s not a messy job, at all, thanks to that sturdy opossum tail.
Jeff and I have also seen turkey vultures migrating through Panama. I will try to post some photos of those turkey vulture kettles another day. We saw them swirling by the hundreds and thousands.
Now when I see turkey vultures I think of the words of the book. I think of the lovely illustrations by Steve Jenkins. Wait until you see the vulture faces! Why, they are positively attractive! It is amazing what art and some cut paper can do.