While tooling along Pumpkin Hill Road on Thursday, June 12th, we espied a flock of Turkeys rather close to the road. Upon closer inspection, the black birds with red heads revealed themselves to be Turkey Vultures, sometimes termed "buzzards," and the usually wary birds remained aground briefly while we snapped photos. After grunting and groaning at us, the usually silent birds took flight, only to return to the same spot once more.
Our curiosity aroused, we also returned to the area, expecting to find a decaying carcass of some unfortunate road-kill. Instead, to our surprise, the buzzard convention was convened around a dozen crappie (fish) bodies, thrown in the field ditch, neatly filleted. Vultures have weak feet (talons)...they walk clumsily but cannot grasp their meals, using their hooked beaks to tear and dissect. We thought that their sight must be incredible in order to spot almost invisible (to us) fish bodies from the heights. However, in reading various birding studies, we discovered that these are some of the few birds whose sense of SMELL is KEEN. (Oh yes, those fish bodies did have an odor.)