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The Buzzards are Hungry

 
 
Reply Thu 10 Jan, 2013 05:47 pm
The local buzzards act more desperate all the time. It is common to see them tearing into garbage bags. Often, cars have to stop for them if their road kill meal is in the street. Right now, several buzzards have a live possum surrounded, just up the street. The possum is playing possum and the birds are standing still. Will they kill the possum or give up? I am not going to interfere, however it goes.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 4 • Views: 1,480 • Replies: 6
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roger
 
  2  
Reply Thu 10 Jan, 2013 06:12 pm
@edgarblythe,
Clearly, playing possum is not a winning strategy in buzzard country.
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Zarathustra
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jan, 2013 06:26 pm
@edgarblythe,
Turkey Vultures (not actually a buzzard if you are in the U.S.) will not attack living creatures unless starving. They do not have talons or beaks that are good offensive weapons. They also like really, really smelly stuff. So the normal defense behavior of an opossum, laying still in a death position and often emptying their bowels, triggered by the big birds being around, actually made them interested. All these animals seem a bit confused.

I used to do animal handling at a local zoo. We handled Turkey Vultures. They have a great defense: they shoot projectile vomit at the eyes of a perceived threat. Skunks got nothing on vulture vomit!!!
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jan, 2013 06:31 pm
@Zarathustra,
As is the case with the bison, when enough people call it a buffalo, it is fine to call it such in informal settings.
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jcboy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jan, 2013 06:34 pm
@edgarblythe,
LOL buzzards, we don’t have buzzards here, not that I’ve seen but we do have hawks. I see them all the time cruising around. Razz
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Jan, 2013 11:21 pm
In natural settings, the Black Vulture eats mainly carrion.[40] In areas populated by humans, it may scavenge at garbage dumps, but also takes eggs and decomposing plant material and can kill or injure newborn or incapacitated mammals. Like other vultures, it plays an important role in the ecosystem by disposing of carrion which would otherwise be a breeding ground for disease.
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edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Fri 11 Jan, 2013 11:23 pm
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