On April 1st, while working outside and talking with a friend, I noticed two turkey vultures, wings outstretched and sunning themselves with their backs to us. They were perched atop a snag by the garages. As there were two, Deb wondered if they might be a pair. I expounded on how generally unfriendly they often seem to each other, even though they frequently roost in groups. I have noticed that if one Turkey vulture sidles up to another one to get cozy, it is often rebuffed with a growl. I went back to work digging a hole, when some minutes later I was distracted by a sound that reminded me of someone blowing their nose in a rhythmic fashion. It was coming from the top of the snag. I turned to watch turkey vultures mating, the male flapping to keep his balance at that great height. Afterwards they quietly sat next to each other, looking mellow, cozy. (I love having my preconceptions blown.) A couple of turkey vultures seem to hang around, lately, and I got this not-so-great photo of them on top of the snag. I actually thought they did mating and chick rearing on their winter holiday in Mexico or Southern California. The gestation period is 29 – 40 days. I hope we get to see some juveniles.
Here is a link to an article in the Neighborhood Naturalist on our local turkey vultures.
And if you ever hear rhythmic nose-blowing from on high, be on the lookout for turkey vulture sex!