Monday, April 12, 2010

near the roost

At about 7:00 pm last Monday night, we were encamped in the upland forest in Lake of the Ozarks State Park in west-central Missouri. Not far away - less than 70 meters from our position - a few Turkey Vultures came in and settled for their night roost. At first, we thought that would be it - but as the minutes passed, more and more came into a group of four or five large canopy trees. By the time it was almost dark, nearly 90 birds had chosen this site for their nocturnal resting place. Other than a few wing flaps during the first few minutes of settling down, they made no sound. At about 6:15 am the following morning, they started leaving in groups of 3 to 10 or more, with one large exodus of about 25 birds. Birds were still leaving at about 7:30 am. I had never spent that much time near a large roosting concentration. Very much gravitas.

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