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The gang — 9 Comments

  1. Great plug for vultures. I am a great admirer of our local turkey vultures, which are actually rather handsome and which I often see in groups. I wonder how social they are…

    • It depends on how you understand ‘social’. Frequently, if one spots (or smells) a feeding opportunity, the group will follow, as will, further south, the larger New World vultures and condors. I’m not sure that the massive group feeding frenzies of Old World vultures seen in parts of Africa and Asia happen in the Americas, though.

  2. Vultures are a keystone species, especially in areas with rabid animals. It’s sad that their populations are in decline. Love how you tied in a great lesson of not judging others with the fate of the vultures.

    • You’re very kind. These three were part of a group studying and ringing endangered vultures in South Africa, and their organisation is closely involved with the work under way trying to improve the lot of vultures in south Asia and elsewhere (see http://www.hawk-conservancy.org/conservation-research/overseas/)

      • How awesome! Thank you so much for including the link. I am looking forward to learning more and supporting the conservancy.

  3. Great and clever story, Keith. We have vultures here and I for one think they have a place. This gang not so much. 🙂

    • Thanks, John. I’m not so sure about these guys, either.
      Actually, they’re great guys. Sadly, the older one of the three is no longer with us. The photo was taken in late 2005 in Kimberley, South Africa, where we were on a vulture ringing, counting and studying exercise.

    • Thanks, Derrick. I’m hoping, if not a bit of a moral, there’s at least a plug for vultures in there.

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