Turkey Vulture

There was a death along the side of the road near my home a while back. It was hidden from view, but obvious to everyone who spotted the "wake". Turkey vultures feeding together is called a wake, and it is a common site in Iowa nearly year round. On this day several vultures were sitting on the fence posts with the sun on their backs (see image below). Vultures often sit and spread their wings in one spot for hours to sunbathe. The sun helpsvultures keep their feathers healthy by causing parasites to converge in areas where birds can more easily get rid of them. On especially chilly days, sunbathing can also help with warming up. Vultures aren’t “cute and cuddly”, nor do they attract crowds like Bald Eagles. But, vultures are a vital part of nature’s clean-up crew and they play a crucial role in the balance of nature.

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