Meet Junior

Last week, we came home from the market and as I opened the gate I saw a vulture in the grass, about 20 feet from the house. It looked like he was drinking from a mud puddle. The car pulled in and we unloaded groceries not seeming to affect the bird very much. Finally he retreated to a large branch in the tree by the house. I watched him fully sit down on the branch. I remembered my hens doing that and if it happened during the day it signaled they weren't well. So, I thought the bird could be sick and might be hungry and decided to give it some food.

We keep meat scraps and anything else smelly, in the freezer until garbage day. I checked the bag and found chicken leg bones with cartilage, skin, fat and some meat. I placed it outside on the pile of concrete panels thinking it would take a while to defrost until it would seem appetizing to a vulture. I was wrong. Within about two minutes the bird was eating the offering. He seemed to really enjoy it.

After he left I searched the yard for the mud puddle he was drinking from. I didn't find any standing water, but I did find a pile of dog puke from several days prior. The vulture was eating the puke!

A few days pass and while in the garden I see the vulture return to inspect the dog puke area. He finds none and flies to the tree at the edge of the cliff and lands next to another vulture that begins to feed him. The bird eating the dog puke was a juvenile! Now he returns just about every morning looking for food so I have been giving him some. I named him Junior.

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