Tuesday, 26 April 2016

V IS FOR VULTURE : A-Z Challenge

Welcome to Day 22 of the A-Z Blogging Challenge. My theme is:


Wildlife Encounters



The thing about vultures is that it’s easy to focus on their looks and underestimate just how fabulous these birds actually are. Their importance in the food chain cannot be exaggerated.

Vultures act as a clean-up crew which helps stop diseases caused from rotting carcasses and they are fully adapted and designed to do just that. 


African White Backed Vultures on an elephant carcass 
It does however mean that they lack feathers on their heads. Some species also lack feathers on their necks too, (these are the ones that insert their heads inside carcasses to delve for juicy treats). 


Vultures’ abilities as scavengers rely on features like powerful beaks and talons and their ability to sniff out or spot a rotting corpse. These features are hardly endearing to most humans, but believe it or not, I do find vultures endearing. They are so perfectly adapted to do what they do, and there is something strangely sweet about a flock of these mighty scavengers waiting patiently for a hyena to eat its fill whilst also keeping watch to see if they can pinch a  morsel when the predator isn’t looking. 



Feisty, clever, patient and with incredible skills which enable them to reduce a dead animal to almost nothing, what’s not to admire about vultures?







Did you know that a group of Vultures is known as a ‘venue’ and when the group is seen in the air, circling together, it is called a ‘kettle’?




Apologies (again) for the picture quality – these are scanned photos from a Kenyan safari taken before I switched to digital.




See you tomorrow – I’m heading to two locations. The first is south of Kenya and the second is quite a long way east from there. Can you guess where and what the next animal will be?




If you want to blog-hop to the next A-Z Challenge blog, please click HERE




39 comments:

  1. I also find them to be endearing probably because they have a purpose and their strong appearance.

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    1. Yes! Beauty is not always a criteria, is it?

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  2. Vultures! Now there's a V for you!! You got me again! ;-)
    Do they have water buffalo in Kenya? I know they have them in India and surrounds...
    However... how about a spot of whale watching? From Kenya to Oz... all in the name of hunting a humpback... or twenty. Well, not hunting for meat... hunting for photos! ;-) (I hope you didn't try and dive with them too!!)
    AJ at Ouch My Back Hurts

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Yes, I chose vulture because they are so important for the health of our wildernesses.

      Whales? Now that would be a nice post... if you're right!

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    3. Indeed... it was a nice post, thanks for obliging!! ;-)

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  3. It's such a same that the word vulture has become a derogatory term for describing a marauder.

    My A-Z story features 2 neglected V words

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  4. Yes, Keith, vultures certainly aren't marauders, are they?

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  5. Hubby and I have a fondness for vultures/buzzards. They enjoy each other's company, roosting and eating together. And how I love watching them soar! Without them there'd be disease and pestilence I'm sure.

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  6. It's good to hear that I'm not alone in my admiration of these birds, Bish. :)

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  7. I learnt something new about vultures today! Had no idea about 'venue' and 'kettle'!
    Indeed, vultures are to be admired!
    Great post :)

    Srivi , The Piscean Me

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  8. Hi Srivi, thanks for popping in again! They're great birds, aren't they?

    :)

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  9. I must say, they are amazing birds. We see them around here now and then and they are always on a mission!

    @Kathleen01930
    Meet My Imaginary Friends
    #AtoZchallenge

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    1. I guess being on a mission is the way of scavengers, Kathleen. :)

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  10. I chose vultures for day V. I am going to put a link to this post on my blog...


    zannierose A-Z hopper”



    http://allfeathersfurandfins.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Good choice, Zannie - and thanks for visiting.

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  11. Don't apologize for those pictures. They are awesome! I love your descriptions. Off the top of my head, for W I'm assuming either Whale or Water Buffalo. I guessed correctly today, maybe I can guess correct again?

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    1. Thanks, Jeffrey. Hmm, well one of those guesses might be the right one! :)

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  12. I find them endearing too.

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  13. Bless those scavengers. We'd be in a mess without them. We have turkey vultures here and they are the road kill clean up crew. Loved seeing those pictures today. And I learned about kettle of vultures.

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    1. Yes, it's easy to forget the importance of scavengers.

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  14. I never realized they were so necessary to nature.

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    1. Oh, vultures are very easy to overlook as being important birds.

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  15. Venue and Kettle what odd names ... like a murder of crows. :-) I like "Old Turkey Buzzard" from the old Western McKenna's Gold: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7mVLWcMm-U

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    1. Isn't it? I only learnt these terms recently myself when I was researching stuff about vultures. :)

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  16. Use of diclofenac in cattle has reduced the number of vultures in urban India but it seems the number of vultures have reduced in the wild also...

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    1. Yes, that's true, Jahnavi. I didn't discuss the fact that many vultures are now endangered. It could be a big problem in the long term.

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  17. Countries which have them would certainly miss their abilities if they weren't there! I like them, too. ~Liz http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com

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  18. Yes, I think vultures are rather underrated and misunderstood. It's nice to know you like them, Liz.

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  19. You are going to Kenya? How exciting.
    Yup, the vultures are the maintenance housekeepers in the bird world. I know they're really smart, but I'm still working on warming up to them:)

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    1. Yes, I went to Kenya, Sandra. I took these photos on the Masai Mara.

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  20. Poor birds. They get such a bad rap but clearly they play an important role in nature.

    @WeekendsinMaine
    Weekends in Maine

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  21. They might not be everyone's idea of a beautiful bird, but they certainly are efficient at what they do and, as you say, important! I'm trying to teach my kids that bees and bats are important, too, and not to be afraid of them.

    Tracy (Black Boots, Long Legs)

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    1. Yes, and it's great to hear that you're teaching your kids to understand how important these animals and insects are, Tracy.

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  22. They are efficient birds and do something other animals go yuck:)

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