Wednesday, March 25, 2009

AHHHH SUN!

What would you do if—having spent the night sleeping in a tree—you’d just got up feeling a bit stiff, and perhaps not quite yet in the mood to go cruising at high altitude in search of a bite of something recently dead for breakfast? Well, if you were a wise buzzard, you’d know nothing beats a good sunbathing session to loosen old bones and help a bird to get moving. The morning sun feels mighty good—especially in spring when the night air still hold a decided chill and it takes more than a yawn and a guttural greeting grunt from fellow roost mates to set things right. The answer is to flap across the river to a handy tall snag located directly in the early sunlight’s path, find a comfortable spot in the very top branches, and spread your wings like a week’s laundry as you warm and wait for the batteries to recharge….ahh-h-h. Actually, this quirky behavior may also help dry out any dampness in the turkey vulture’s feathers, while improving the bird’s health and hygiene by baking off a few billion bacteria. Some mornings there may be a dozen or two vultures scattered throughout this particular treetop, all with wings spread wide. Yesterday, however, it was just this lone bird who, not having to vie with other sunbathing mates, got to command the premier spot.

8 comments:

Lynne said...

I love watching vultures sun bathe like that. I'll bet it feels good!

It's snowing here right now. I'll bet the Song Sparrow that showed up yesterday regrets getting here ahead of the others...

The Weaver of Grass said...

And how he looks to be enjoying it. We humans are not the only ones to enjoy the Spring sunshine!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Lynne…

Don't want to make you feel bad, but it was in the low-70s here yesterday. Of course, this morning is drizzly and dreary, and the day's high is predicted only at the mid-50s. But, no snow. Unfortunately, no sunbathing for the buzzards, either. But the rain hasn't dampened the song sparrow's spirit; even now, as I type, he's somewhere in the evergreen hedge singing away.

When I catch a dozen or so sunbathing turkey vultures in that tree, I post a shot for you. And not all my buzzard clan are back yet, BTW; maybe 15—25 so far, with newcomers arriving almost every day. Last week I could only count 7—10.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Weaver…

They do appear to enjoy their morning sunbath. Though if I'd have posted the subsequent shot, taken a second later, you'd have seen a rather annoyed vulture glaring at an abashed photographer.

I got the message and let the bird bathe in peace…

Rowan said...

Seems like a good way to start the day to me:)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Rowan…

Me, too.

Years ago, whenever I'd see a bunch of vultures sunbathing, it would remind me of all those old retired folks sprawled out on a Florida beach. Nowadays, as my own geezerhood grins at me from just down the road, I see those buzzards and think: hey, that looks like a pretty good way to start the day.

I'm not really sure what to make of this attitude adjustment…

UKBob said...

What a great picture.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

UKBob…

Thanks. I had a fairly willing subject.

And if you're new to the blog, welcome.