A fascinating little surprise…

This afternoon, I went for a little hike with my sister, niece, and brother in Sleeping Giant State Park, about 8 miles down the road from my mom and dad’s place. As we reached what might be described as the chin of the “sleeping giant”, my niece, Lizzy, spotted these characters perched right on the edge of the cliff.

Here’s the best close-up my phone could produce without me getting close enough to disturb them.

I was just about to write here that they’re turkey vultures, and as I checked in with the AllAboutBirds.org to provide you a link to click on, I noticed that their heads don’t look very red, certainly not as red as the heads we’ve seen in Estabrook. So I checked out the handy “Compare with Similar Species” gallery and was stunned to learn that there is such a creature as a black vulture (Coragyps atratus) with a “gray head” instead of a “red head”. Plus, the black vulture year-round range extends into the southern half of Connecticut, while the turkey vulture winter range only reaches up to New Jersey. Ha!

Just when I think I know what’s going, a situation like this comes along to remind me that I barely know a thing.

Anyway, I fly back home tomorrow, so I probably won’t be able to post anything, but I should be back in Estabrook on Wednesday morning, and I can’t wait to see who’s there.

Published by Andrew Dressel

Theoretical and Applied Bicycle Mechanic, and now, apparently, Amateur Naturalist. In any case, my day job is teaching mechanics at UWM.

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