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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Kettling Vultures

Have you ever seen a group of birds swirling about high in the sky?? This is referred to in birding circles as "kettling".  The birds are riding on the thermal updrafts in the sky and take on the appearance of water boiling in a pot hence the "kettle".  I can not say that I am reminded of water boiling in a pot, but I still think it is a neat sight.  Always make sure to observe all of the birds carefully, sometimes there is an unsuspecting bald eagle enjoying the ride on the thermal with various other bird species.  This previous blog post can help you to differentiate between the flight of the bald eagle and vultures.

While we were out monitoring conservation easements this past week we came across the kettling black vultures seen in this photograph. Notice the white tips-- black vultures have light feathers under their primaries that are referred to as "stars".  They have a terrible sense of smell, and typically will associate with their cousins, turkey vultures to lead them to carcasses.  Turkey vultures have a very highly developed sense of smell.  Eating carrion may not seem like your idea of fun but vultures and their food chain are an important part of our ecosystem!! Enjoy watching the birds ride the thermals...

Remember NOW IS THE BEST TIME IN HISTORY TO EASE YOUR LAND! If you are interested in permanently protecting your land, and taking advantage of all of the benefits associated with a conservation easement  please contact Gwen Lacy, Executive Director of TLC at or call 610-347-0347 ext 102. 

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