On Vultures



I’ve posted before about the enormous turkey and black vulture populations here in Radford. Radford has one of the largest turkey vulture and black vulture populations in the country (there’s a 1000+ bird roost out at the local army ammunitions plant, plus a gazillion more birds in the city). Every year for the past several, Radford has been having this “Vulture Day” to educate people about the birds. We missed it last year, but finally, we all went to this year’s activities and it was great fun!

There were crafts for Z., which she loves, but the best part was that we got to meet a turkey vulture in person. “Buttercup” was hit by a car and can’t ever be released again into the wild, so her caretaker, Bob (an RU faculty member in Biology who we have known for a while), takes her around for educational purposes. Vultures are definitely demonized by the local folks here. During our visit, J. got to hold her, and Little Miss Z. – She Who is Currently Afraid of EVERYTHING – was really thrilled to see her and even petted her feet several times. That’s definitely *progress* on her part.

Cooler still was there was a man there taking photos who we got to talking to; he snapped these photos of J. & Z. with Buttercup. He’s apparently editor of a local nature newspaper/journal The Appalachian Voice. He wants to use one of the photos for the back cover of the next issue. And, in talking with him, he was really interested in me and my work, and suggested that I might find some writing opportunities with the journal. Being such a natural introvert, I rarely make these sorts of connections, so I am excited for the possibilities.

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