Jake, my Staffie thinks he can catch one of the local vultures on our hikes up the big hill. That’s because as the bird swoops across our view a little further down the hill, it looks as if it’s reachable. I’m talking about the turkey vulture, the kind we have around here, shown below. According to Wikipedia, along with the Andean Condor, it is one of the New World vultures, found in the Americas, up to southern Canada and northern Argentina. I always think of old cowboy movies when I see one above us, can almost hear John Wayne saying, “It don’t look good, Jeb, even the buzzards know we’re done fer, they’re just waiting for us to die.”
And then there are the Old World vultures, to be found on African plains as well on every other continent, except Australia and Antartica. I remember seeing one of these guys, an African White-Backed hunched over the carcass of a zebra when we took a trip to the Tsavo National Park when I was thirteen.
My favorite though is the Griffon also known as the Himalayan or Great Vulture, found in Europe, north Africa and Asia. It’s magnificent as you can see below. I say favorite because I’m quite fond of vultures. For one thing, like all creatures on earth they perform a valuable service. And, I don’t know, they just seem so unflappable. Get it? Unflappable.