Menu Home

Wait a minute…that not a turkey

My kiddos and I enjoy taking closer looks into creeks and seeing the different kinds of creatures that live there. It’s mesmerizing to observe nature doing its thing.

Well, it was definitely that yesterday. We walked down a small slope to the side of a creek where Ellis wanted to climb a medium-sized tree. It didn’t look feasible but not wanting to be the discouraging voice I agreed to check it out with her: but the tree was much farther to reach from climbing up the rock to its branches. Sorry bud, too tall and too precarious. Elliot is like Chris when we’re out without the daddy; he scopes out the situation, tells us to stay on track, and asks a lot of questions. He’s a mini Chris.

I digress.

the tree she wanted to climb…settled for the rock

Looking around she points to an animal sitting on the grassy area poking its head up and down. She says it’s a “turkey-bird thingy eating something.” It seemed strange for a turkey to roam the creek but anything is possible. This large winged animal was busily pulling on a stretchy layer of brown fur that looked like carpet; assumed it was trash or branch debris.

Zooming in with my Android showed us what was really going on. It was a lone vulture feasting on a large brown carcass. An animal of that size at this park would’ve been a deer. Again, not being familiar with nature and what goes on, we assumed the circular brown object next to it was trash or elaborate branches.

On closer inspection of the photo, the spindly brown object was a picked-over carcass! We couldn’t stop looking at the pictures, mesmerized yet grossed out by the whole thing. That vulture would soon be in a serious state of food comatose.

This walk will be remembered as that time we saw how the food chain works. How did the deer die right next to each other? Fighting? Injury? And the most illogical explanation but fun to think about: did the vulture pick up the dead carcass and fly over to this spot for its feast? Silly to imagine a limp deer in the claws of a vulture flying in the air.

They couldn’t believe the sight and wondering if it really was a turkey.

Here are two opposing views of vultures:

“Despicable creatures, vultures: without a doubt the most disgusting birds ever. I suppose they served their purpose, but did they have to be so greasy and ugly? Couldn’t we have cute fuzzy rabbits that cleaned up roadkill instead?” ~ Rick Riordan


“Vultures are homely, but they clean up all the garbage and that’s good. And they’re elegant in the sky.” ~ Roger Tory Peterson

Thank you readers for stopping by and I hope you have a great rest of the week! Enjoy the last few days of July. God bless and take care. ~ Esther

Categories: learning with kids Nature observations and thoughts

Tagged as:


Welcome to my blog! My name is Esther and I'm so happy you are here. I'm an avid nature photographer and a daydreaming thinker. My posts revolve around photos of nature's beauty, homeschooling adventures with my 2 kids, sporadic reflections on my child's heart condition, Bible reading reflections, gardening feats, and other mish mash things. Hopefully you'll leave encouraged, pensive, or smiling at the simple things of life. Thank you for stopping by and hope you'll find some interesting posts to read!

6 replies

    1. Agree! The hairless and wrinkly head make them quite unattractive. But do you know that they are bald so their head doesn’t get dirtied up from eating the carcass? Learned that from the zoo docent.
      I got the biggest laugh from your expression, “assaulting to the eyes.” I thought you meant the sight of vultures. I had to reread that.
      Well, the kids and I had quite an interesting nature observation.


      1. I think I knew that from somewhere – I found it interesting. I meant it was not too appealing for us to see. I follow a wildlife photographer who lives in Tofino, British Columbia. One time he found a huge dead sea lion, put up a trail camera and took videos of who came to dine and posted it on his site – eww.


  1. Just read a devotional about turkey vultures and other scavengers in our latest book by Louie Giglio. They are very important to the ecosystem. Great birds! Fabulous photos!


%d bloggers like this: