Date: 2/14/18 12:26 am
From: Jonathan Berman <jonadayberman...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Turkey Vulture and Raven?
I think it’s not uncommon to see ravens and turkey vultures together, at
least in some regions. For whatever reason, it usually seems to be a
single raven with one or more vultures. This past December, I watched a
raven and a vulture circling together over the Napa Valley in
California. There
were several other vultures soaring nearby, but the raven seemed affiliated
with this one bird. Conversely, other ravens in the area didn’t seem
“vulture-ophilic.” After a while the raven flew off, but it rejoined the
vulture (or another took its place) 15-20 minutes later. Seeing these two
species together usually seems to lead to conversations speculating on why
the (uber-intelligent) raven might want to spend time with the (less
intelligent) vulture. However, if you’re a scavenger, hanging out with
turkey vultures is probably not a bad way to find to food.

Many years ago, when hiking in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, I came
upon two turkey vultures apparently building a nest (or the vulture
approximation of one) on a ledge near the top of some cliffs. They would
disappear over the ridge top and return in a few minutes with what appeared
to be small amounts of nesting material. After doing this several times,
they came back with an entourage consisting of 4-5 vultures and – yes – a
single raven. Each of the two nest builders dipped down in front of the
ledge, sometimes passing in opposite directions in front of the nest site,
while the other birds circled overhead. The entourage disappeared over the
ridge, and the two vultures resumed their nest building. However, they
returned with what seemed to be the same group of birds (always one raven)
twice more in the next hour or so, and the same scene was reenacted. It
was hard not to see it in goofy anthropomorphic terms, i.e., the vulture
pair showing off their nest to their friends. It was a remarkable thing to
watch, in any case.


On Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 9:45 PM, Lars Per Norgren <larspernorgren...>

> *
> There's two hills at Finley NWR , Pigeon Butte and Maple Knoll. They have
> long, even south facing slopes that are steep enough to create a good
> updraft when the wind is out of the south. Several times this winter I
> have seen young Bald Eagles enjoying this free lift, often two or more fly
> in synchrony at close quarters. This series of hills continues west, masked
> by timber. One such slope is west of Bellfountain Road and had Christmas
> trees on its lower flanks in 1977 when I was working there in September.
> The upper, steeper slope was tall second growth Douglas-fir with scattered,
> very tall old-growth. A Raven was amusing itself there every windy
> afternoon. Once it got a Red-tailed Hawk to join the fun and they went back
> and forth between the tall, old-growth firs. Another day a Turkey Vulture
> did the same thing. I'm pretty sure it traded off following and leading
> with the Raven. A Turkey Vulture can be quite frisky with a favorable wind.
> It genuinely wove through the trees(10s of meters apart) like a slalom
> course. lpn
> On Feb 13, 2018, at 7:47 PM, Tim wrote:
> Saw my first two Turkey Vultures of the year out around North Bay drive in
> North Bend. Not a staggering find but one of them was soaring with a Raven.
> No fighting or antagonistic behavior at all. They were simply soaring large
> circles together. An interesting pairing I can honestly say I've never seen
> before. Fun to watch.

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