Why Not Vultures?

Lappet-Faced Vultures 11-23-13 6985.jpg-2

Lappet-Faced Vulture

I think vultures get a bad rap. They really perform a valuable service in nature. They do a much better job of recycling than we do.

Vultures Serengeti 11-24-13 8538.jpg-2

In case you’re wondering why I am inspired to post about vultures, I am (1) waiting to find out whether I will want to share the video of the festival choir concert from last weekend, and (2) am also trying to figure out how to possibly convey what is going on with the home crowd (it grows, and changes daily!) through various types of media. But while trying to find time to figure all that out, I thought I’d share a few pictures looking back to my November 2013 East Africa trip, with these spiffy-looking vultures in particular.

African White-Backed Vulture

African White-Backed Vulture

There were more vulture species on the list, but these were the only identified portraits I found recently.

 White-Headed Vulture

White-Headed Vulture

Yes, those are storks in the photo below: they also showed up after a kill, with the vultures.

Vultures & Storks at Zebra Kill 11-24-13 8529.jpg-2

Nature takes care of itself. And us, if we let it.

14 thoughts on “Why Not Vultures?

  1. A few months ago I saw a great documentary on TV about Vultures in Africa. They began to find hundreds of these birds dead in a large area, they were suspecting some kind of virus. They did tests of all kinds and found that they had been poisoned with a potent pesticide used for a problem they had on the fields. The mammals that grazed those fields did not get affected but when they migrate would go across the rivers and many would drown and then rot and were eaten by the vultures and they at the same time got poisoned and in short time would eventually die. It was bad as it was but got worse because the tremendous impact to the Ecology. The corpses of numbers of animals accumulated to great proportions and there wasn’t enough consumption from the lack of vultures. The government had to deploy fleets of trucks and large number of workers to pick up the corpses and burn some or bury other. What a chain reaction just for shortage of vulture population! Cool isn’t it?

    • Thanks for your comment, HJ. This sounds vaguely familiar to me which may be why quite a while ago I was thinking about doing a blog post about vultures and then forgot why by the time I got around to it. What a mess humans make. I was aware if the shortage of vultures in India,

  2. I have had a life long passion for vultures. I studied wildlife biology with a desire to be an old-world vulture ornithologist. That dream did not happen, my course changed – but my passion remains. Vultures are natures garbage collectors. They are part of the natural cycle for replacing important nutrients in the soil, and as mentioned in the other comment – a natural mortician. Thank you for your post.

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