Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sanibel Island Peaceful Sunday

This morning, something a little strange seemed to be going on in the sky. There were hundreds of Turkey Vultures circling on the air currents in the sky. There were several different groups of them and after a while the groups would join together. It was very interesting watching them. It certainly made me curious, as to what was happening. (I was feeling ok, I didn't think they were coming after me, so I didn't dwell on it. :-) Later on, there were 12 or 15 of them sitting on branches of the big dead tree in the back yard. It looked like they had been in the water and had their wings stretched out to dry. By the time I got my camera phone and walked back out, there were only 10 left. (So, that's how you can loose an entire morning on Sanibel.) You can also loose part of your evening if you do research. I did learn that A group of vultures is called a “venue” and a group circling in the air is called a “kettle”. So, I guess you could say there were several venues that formed a kettle. ??? (Hmmm, I always thought a kettle was something you cooked in.)

Tonight on Ft Myers TV news, they were saying that the vultures were here because of a large amount of fish that had died in a lake at the Dunes Subdivision on Sanibel. They think the fish died there because of a lack of oxygen in the water. But, that hasn't yet been determined as the reason. Some people were saying that the vultures had been feeding on the dead fish and were sitting on their houses, fences, trees, lawns etc. and being a real nuisance. After the vultures ate the fish, they were leaving the bones laying everywhere. I guess it's also a very smelly situation. From the things I've been reading, the best way to make them leave your yard etc, is to go out frequently banging on pans or spraying at them with a hose. Of course, I doubt they would stay away if you have dead fish laying your yard. :=( Rotting meat is called carrion and it attracts insects and breeds bacteria and as we all know, has a very foul odor. The birds kill the bacteria with their stomach acid so, seems to me that the best thing to do, is let nature take it's course.

I'm not totally convinced that is the only reason they were here, because we've noticed the same thing going on for several years now, at this same time of year. It has been very noticable because some of them have congregated in this big dead tree each time. The photos and video that I have, really can't convey to you the enormous amount of birds that were in the air. There were 4 or 5 groups that had probably hundreds in each one that would join together at times. It seems very odd because there surely aren't that many vultures living on Sanibel Island. ???

I didn't know when I started researching Turkey Vultures that it would be so interesting. I think I'll keep reading and use them as my next Camera Critter on Saturday. Who knows, maybe I'll even learn somethingn.

Click on photo to enlarge enough to see the birds.











This afternoon was sunny and warm at Resident Access #1 on West Gulf Drive. The water was pretty clear and there were some small shells that the gentle waves were leaving behind. Right in that particular area, there weren't a lot of people. But, up near Access #4 there were many people, and also looking east I could see a lot of people on the beach in the areas by the Inns and Cottages. We walked along the water's edge for a while and looked through the small shells, I only carried a small handful away. It was just very relaxing being in the warm sunshine, listening to the waves. One thing that I enjoyed watching was a little toddler, sitting in a small hole dug in the sand. He was so content, just sitting there letting sand run between his little fingers. Yes, life is good! :-)







9 comments:

ღ Alice ღ said...

Thats alot of vultures,I have never seen so many in one spot. Spooky too...

Cimba7200 said...

That's certainly a lot of vultures Toots. It will be interesting to know why they were there. I watched your two videos. Enjoyed the sea breaking too. - Dave

Gayle said...

What an odd gathering of so many. I bet there is more to it than the dead fish. Maybe something is happening to their "other" home wherever that may be. The beach looks lovely as always!

George said...

Thanks for a very informative post. I didn't know about kettles of vultures. I don't think I would appreciate a large number of vultures in my back yard.

gpc said...

I have also seen lots and lots of vultures circling, usually near the pier. A couple of times I've seen a dozen or so actually sitting on the beach sand making their warning noises as I walked by. I've always wondered what they are expecting.

Little Black Scrap Cat said...

I think I would begin having thoughts of doom and gloom if those vultures were to hang around very long!

Nice little assortment of shells.

Snowbird said...

I saw the thing about the vultures on WINK news and wondered about you guys. Man, your video looks like something out of Hitchcock's "The Birds"!! BTW, we are back home now. So, give us a call next time you crawl. (Geez, I'm a poet)

bobbie said...

They are strange birds. Every so often we see a large number of them around here - but never so many as you have there. I believe I posted a picture at one time of a dead tree full of them.

Jacque said...

The vultures look creepy at best!