Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Cute Downy Baby Bird Alert! Turkey Vultures on the Tuolumne River

You know what? I wasn't always the handsome dashing geologist/naturalist that you see before you now. Let's face it: I was an ugly baby. But you also know what? All babies deserve some love and tenderness, so put aside your prejudices about rotting meat and dead carcasses and give these two baby Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura) some well-deserved love and tenderness. The scavengers of our ecosystems have a dirty job, and the world would be a much worse place if they weren't around to clean it up for us.

It's not always a pleasant experience to realize there is something really big in the brush off to your side when walking alone on a trail. The Tuolumne River Parkway Trail is not exactly a wilderness with bears and mountain lions or other menacing creatures, but there is still a moment of uncertainty and doubt when some large animal makes that first detectable motion. I quickly looked around and could see that it was actually a pair of juvenile turkey vultures warming themselves on a fallen log. I've seen an adult in the immediate vicinity in the last couple of days, but I have no idea where their next was located.

So....hold your nose and politely say to the proud parents what lovely babies they are raising. It's the polite thing to do.

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