Photo of the Week: Bultures

We have been spending every minute at the house outdoors lately — painting, fixing things, doing lawn work, removing brush, etc., etc.  One of our favorite things about working on the exterior/property is that we get to watch the wildlife go by.  This past weekend, we saw a lovely group of turkey vultures lackadaisically circling in from the west and heading north, directly over our backyard:

A group of vultures, according to Wikipedia, can be called a committee, venue, kettle, volt or wake. Kettle refers to a group in flight (a group of hawks is called a kettle too), and a wake refers to a group of vultures while feeding. Bird facts!

A few years ago I volunteered at the Raptor Center, and during my time there, both Paul and I became fascinated with the hawks, owls, falcons and eagles that inhabit our fine state. You can identify turkey vultures in flight by the slight “V” shape their wingspan creates, their dark body color, and the lighter brown/grey color at the tips of the wings.  There were nine flying around when I took this photo–easily the largest group I’ve ever seen.  Must have been some nice yummy carrion nearby!

The title, by the way, refers to a story my mom has told me multiple times.  When I was very young, my family and I were out for a drive and I saw a flock of Canadian geese (there are a lot of geese in Rochester, for some reason).  I got very excited, started pointing at the birds and yelled, “look, bultures!”  It took my confused mother a minute to figure out what I was talking about; “Oh, vultures!” Apparently, I somehow had come to associate any group of birds in flight with the iconic group of circling vultures.  I blame you, childhood cartoons.


About Leigh

Born and raised in Rochester, MN, Leigh moved to the Twin Cities in 2004 for college. She stayed, and now works for a south metro city in the recycling department. In February of 2011, she and Paul bought a neglected farm house in the city to start our own urban hobby farm.

Posted on March 24, 2012, in Photo of the Week, Property and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. What a sweet childhood memory about the bultures. My aunt lived in Rochester, so when my family would visit her they would take my cousins, my sister and me to Silver lake to feed the geese.

    Silver Lake is a small, freshwater reservoir in Southeastern Minnesota. The lake lies on the South Fork Zumbro River, located approximately one mile north of downtown Rochester.

    The electrical power plant operated by Rochester Public Utilities uses the lake for cooling. Since the lake operates as a heat sink, it doesn’t freeze in the winter. The warm water attracts a large number of Canada geese that remain in the area year round.

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