208 Turkey Vulture
Photo taken on 9 September 2016 and posted on Flickr on 10 September 2016.
"If you’ve gone looking for raptors on a clear day, your heart has probably leaped at the sight of a large, soaring bird in the distance– perhaps an eagle or osprey. But if it's soaring with its wings raised in a V and making wobbly circles, it's likely a Turkey Vulture. These birds ride thermals in the sky and use their keen sense of smell to find fresh carcasses. They are a consummate scavenger, cleaning up the countryside one bite of their sharply hooked bill at a time, and never mussing a feather on their bald heads." From AllABoutBirds.
I was so exhausted after my day out yesterday that I could only face choosing and editing one photo to post today! At least people will all see the same photo, whereas Flickr usually messes with the order in which my new posts are seen.
This particular bird resides at the Alberta Bird of Prey Centre in Coaldale, southern Alberta, a wonderful place that rehabilitates and releases (whenever possible) various birds of prey - hawks, owls, Bald Eagles, and Golden Eagle. Some of these birds act as Wildlife Ambassadors, too, educating the public.
Over the last few years, I have seen three or four of these birds flying very high overhead within the city of Calgary, which was a thrill. Too far away to see any detail at all, which is why I love going to this Centre, to see raptors up close.
It had been a few years since my last visit there - I've been maybe three or four times - and I had been longing to go back. Much too far and all new driving territory for me to even think about driving there myself. However, yesterday, 9 September 2016, that is exactly what I did. A friend had said she would come along, too, but she emailed me at 1:00 am to say that she assumed the trip had been cancelled, as she hadn't heard back about the time to meet. In fact, I had sent two emails giving the time, so I don't know what happened there. Very unfortunate, as it would have been great to have had company on such a long drive.
I knew it would be a long day and further than I would normally drive - and in a brand new car that I have yet to learn to drive! It doesn't look or feel quite as new now, after travelling 481 km! Only got lost twice, one minor and the other major. Must have taken a wrong turn somewhere down south and I ended up in Lethbridge, that I had very carefully planned to avoid. After three and three-quarter hours, I finally arrived, to my huge relief.
Today, I have another long drive, this time taking my daughter to Kananaskis. Again, this will be a new drive for me; one that I have longed to do for years, but never had the courage to do. I have been many times with friends and had carefully planned a route a few weeks ago - and then my old car basically became undrivable (muffler and catalytic converter both needed to be replaced). Must dash.
AlbertaCanadasouthern Albertanear LethbridgeCoaldaleAlberta Bird of Prey Centrewildlife rehabilitationcaptivenatureornithologyavianbirdbirdsbird of preyraptorVultureTurkey VultureCathartes aurahead shotside viewa face only a mother could lovebokehoutdoorsummer9 September 2016FZ200FZ2004annkelliottAnne Elliott© Anne Elliott 2016© All Rights ReservedAnne Elliott, from
Photos added to Flickr, 1 July - 30 September 2016