Monday, September 30, 2013

VULTURES AND RAPTORS

Do you have any idea what would happen if all the vultures would disappear?  If you don't you don't want to know.
This dapper fellow is a black vulture.  They are prolific around all the lakes and it's a good thing.  If they weren't there to clean up all the dead critters - the lakes would stink to high heaven.  Many do anyhow but, that's due to other reasons.
Black vultures and turkey vultures often flock together.  The turkey vulture finds it's food by smell and it is reported they can detect the stench of rotting flesh up to ten miles away.  The black vulture is a sight feeder.  He flies up an down the shorelines, often in flocks, until a dead critter is sighted, and there is a lot of dead critters along the shoreline to eat.  Black vultures often will follow behind turkey vultures when on the hunt because they know the turkey vulture is the supreme offal finder.

 Yum, yum - dead, rotting, stinking, putrid fish.  Don't get better than this.
I went to Douglas Lake with the Gheenoe this morning for the sole purpose of counting bald eagles, if I could find any.  I counted an unusually large amount of eagles last year on Douglas but, that occurred in November and December.  I counted six eagles in four hours today and that is unusual in itself.  I can only imagine what the count will be when the eagles start flying south at around the end of October.

A beautiful immature bald eagle flew from a tree on the shoreline and passed over the boat.
I really didn't expect to take any shots today but, I had the camera and, well, here's the eagle.
He is a very young eagle as the white splotches of plumage are just starting to materialize.  I'd guess him at about 2 years of age.
I saw no bald eagles perched in trees to photograph.  The lake was full of bass boats that were causing a lot of noise and I suspect  kept the eagles off the shorelines.
If you love the wild things in the wild places you just have to find yourself a bald eagle and view it up close.  They give me chills and I'm sure will affect you likewise.
An osprey jumped into space creating a visual spectacle of power.


They are so gorgeous in flight!  He circled around and passed over the boat.
And finally, the much overlooked dove.

I know, I know.  A dove.  Well, he's important too.  Fly away little dove.
Like I said - I wasn't on the lake to photograph anything much.  I really wanted to get an idea of the bald eagle population on a certain section of lake.  I'll be able to compare today's count with those counts that are taken in late October through December.  
Oh, I posted my 1000th post on this blog last night.  Whew.  That's amazing to me.  Back on the river tomorrow so I'll see you then.