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Migratory bird populations have taken a nose dive in the past 40 years. But you can help bring their numbers back by creating beneficial, beautiful and fun habitats in your own backyard. Discover favorite plants and environments that shelter and feed colorful songbirds, as well as how to make them feel welcome by offering their preferred natural foods.

Grandma Pearl
(Connie Smith)

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Truth About Turkey Vultures

Turkey Vulture from  nps.gov
As humans, I think we sometimes tend to equate beauty with goodness, and ugliness with evil.  All living things have a role on this Earth.  The misunderstood and much maligned Turkey Vulture serves a noble purpose.  We need to look past the superficial idea of attractiveness, and give the Turkey Vulture the reverence it has rightfully earned and deserves.

Facts about Turkey Vultures:

  • Gentle, caring and devoted parents
  • Essential part of Nature’s cleanup crew
  • Perform removal of carcasses before they can become diseased
  • Purify environment by eliminating animal cadavers that are already infected
  • Do not spread any diseases whatsoever, contrary to popular beliefs
  • Considered sacred in some cultures for their gift of sanitizing
  • Enjoy soaring on high using warm thermals to lift them ever upward

Alas, their distasteful Hollywood reputation precedes them.  And they are often mistakenly referred to as ‘buzzards’ or ‘turkey buzzards’.  But their scientific name, Cathartes aura, actually translates to either ‘purifying breeze’ or ‘golden purifier’.  Either of those interpretations is more accurate than the word ‘vulture’, which means to tear.

The unfounded fears that these birds spread disease often prompts intentional shootings and cruel poisonings and trappings.   But these birds keep the environment clean and disease free, rather than the reverse. 
Read more about these helpful and important birds by clicking here

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