VERY large birds in Millburn

My friend in Millburn told me that on Friday she was getting out of her car when a bunch, 8 or 9, of very large birds landed on the trees on her lawn and across the street. She isn't sure if they are turkeys, turkey vultures or some other form of large bird, Has anyone else had an experience with these creatures recently.

turkeys are less likely to be in a tree. I vote for the turkey vultures but could also be black vultures.

Crows? Eagles? How large is large?

Larger than crows or grackles. Are black vultures indigenous to NJ?

Turkey vultures most likely...big BIG brown and the typical vulture heads. Hawks and Eagels don't travel in groups that large in number but vultures do. If there was a dead animal around ....or a restaurant that serves raw fish (and doesnt bag the heads properly before they throw them out) you will see them. They are NOT shy, they will hang out and they will watch you but they really have no interest in you.

Although black vultures have been breeding as of late in New Jersey it would be unlikely you see them here in January but then the weather has been so crazy so who knows. if your friend saw the birds with there wings open then it would be easy to find out which vulture it was since black vultures have a white very visible spot underneath its wings.

Two large vulture-type birds on Prospect (by Madison) the other day, happily devouring a squirrel that didn't make it across the street. They were large, and had their wings out, flapping as they fed. That really made traffic slow down! Finally, I found something that will make traffic move at the posted speed limit on Prospect! Dark feathers, but I didn't notice an under-wing white spot. Just assumed they were turkey vultures. I hadn't realized they were so big where they are 5' away rather than 100' (or more) up in the air.

cody said:

happily devouring a squirrel that didn't make it across the street.



snake

jerseyjack said:

turkeys are less likely to be in a tree. I vote for the turkey vultures but could also be black vultures.


Many turkeys roost in trees for the night.


I love turkey vultures! They fly magnificantly. They are all over NJ in great numbers. It's odd how I see them in the sky so frequently and others are blind to them. You have to look way up for them. If you think you see a hawk and it's hovering, it's really a vulture.

They are shy while sitting in trees despite what pixigirl says. It's hard to spot one not flying.

They are ugly up close.

They are gentle creatures and are sweet with each other. I've seen them kissing.

They perform a service to the ecology and are therefore protected.

They have keener senses of smell that other birds, finding carrion by its scent. Sometimes, gas utility companies use them to find leaks in the gas lines since the scent is similar.

They are revered in India as they provide "burials at sky." Sadly, they're dying out there, a big cause for concern.

Can you tell I love vultures?

wedjet said:

Many turkeys roost in trees for the night.

I would go with most, if not all.


whiffleball said:

My friend in Millburn told me that on Friday she was getting out of her car when a bunch, 8 or 9, of very large birds landed on the trees on her lawn and across the street. She isn't sure if they are turkeys, turkey vultures or some other form of large bird, Has anyone else had an experience with these creatures recently.


I bet they're chickens ...


Soul_29 said:

whiffleball said:

My friend in Millburn told me that on Friday she was getting out of her car when a bunch, 8 or 9, of very large birds landed on the trees on her lawn and across the street. She isn't sure if they are turkeys, turkey vultures or some other form of large bird, Has anyone else had an experience with these creatures recently.


I bet they're chickens ...


waiting to move to Maplewood?


peteglider said:

Soul_29 said:

whiffleball said:

My friend in Millburn told me that on Friday she was getting out of her car when a bunch, 8 or 9, of very large birds landed on the trees on her lawn and across the street. She isn't sure if they are turkeys, turkey vultures or some other form of large bird, Has anyone else had an experience with these creatures recently.


I bet they're chickens ...


waiting to move to Maplewood?



Look, this is classic military strategy ... They're going amass at the border and come over at the first possible chance ...


Check out the "Raptor Trust" in Millington, NJ (theraptortrust.org/) near Basking Ridge. If you've never been, and you love BIG birds, you must go. Vultures, Eagles, Hawks, Owls, and lots of information. A wonderful place for adults and children. And injured birds.

DEFCON_Creator said:

wedjet said:

Many turkeys roost in trees for the night.

I would go with most, if not all.



There's a flock(?) of turkeys in Maplewood. I've seen them twice on Prospect and, yes, wild turkeys do nest in trees at night... for safety.

jsonix said:

Check out the "Raptor Trust" in Millington, NJ (theraptortrust.org/) near Basking Ridge. If you've never been, and you love BIG birds, you must go. Vultures, Eagles, Hawks, Owls, and lots of information. A wonderful place for adults and children. And injured birds.

The injured bird thing is very cool. We've caught a number birds over the years in the backyard that have had problems, mostly stuff like conjunctivitis (which is pretty much deadly to a bird if not taken care of quickly) and taken them to the Trust. It's a great resource.


jsonix said:

Check out the "Raptor Trust" in Millington, NJ (theraptortrust.org/) near Basking Ridge. If you've never been, and you love BIG birds, you must go. Vultures, Eagles, Hawks, Owls, and lots of information. A wonderful place for adults and children. And injured birds.

+1



Tom, how do they use vultures for detecting gas leaks? Kind of like a drug dog? Walk it around on a leash and wait for it to point?

Tom..go up to the res one day and look for a dead deer you will see how non shy turkey vultures are. As a matter of fact they dont even get off the dead animal when my dogs walk past. They just open up their wings to make themselves even bigger.

One of the cooler sights are the turkey vultures drying out as you are driving towards Annapolis...they love using the large highway sign spanning acoss 1&9 to dry and warm up in the morning.

These are black vultures doing the same.

http://photoblog.statesman.com/tag/black-vultures

Carrion eaters are not shy animals. If they are interested, and unless its food they rarely are, in something they will not let it go easily. These are birds that compete on the ground (not a comfortable location for most birds) with other predators for food and they do..they are so tenacious that they also win most of the time.

look at these two guys right next to a busy road. They could easily pick the carcas up but they dont cause that would mean they have to stop eating.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8kszB0yS5g&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Now who would think that but Salzburg Austria is famous for its vultures...

http://mobil.wochenblatt.de/themen/chill/artikel/art7774,81020


kthnry said:

Tom, how do they use vultures for detecting gas leaks? Kind of like a drug dog? Walk it around on a leash and wait for it to point?



Actually gas has no odor which would make a gas leak even more dangerous then it already is. So many many years ago gas companies added a chemical to it that gives it that sweet kind a smell. That chemical is ethyl mercaptan and occures naturally when flesh decays. I guess they figured that would make you pay attention if you smell gas.

Well Turkey vultures have such an incredibke sense of smell (which most birds dont have) that they can pick up ethyl mercaptan which they associate with a carcass. Gas companies didn treally train the birds but if they were looking for a leak they would look for the vultures overheard.


Incidentally I just noticed on two occassions (and its disturbing) that there are usually vultures circling above St. Barnabas Hospital.

Don't worry - they're probably heading for the dumpster with the McDonald's trash! oh oh

Large numbers of vultures circled overhead when Lucent was a dying company. It was kind of funny. This is in Murray Hill (Berkeley Heights) and in Holmdel, at the same time!

Very very interesting facts about vultures...

http://vulturesociety.homestead.com/QandA.html#anchor_13165

my fav...
the oldest known turkey vulture is 38 years old.
Only turkey vultures have a keen sense of smell. All other vultures go by sight like eagles.
Vultures prefer herbivore carrion to carnivor carrion.



Tom, Good thing they didn't car-bomb Lucent like this NJ accident:


This is what happened:
http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2009/03/turkey_crashes_through_windshi.html

OMG, I don't say OMG very often, but OMG.

@jasmo
@wedjet

I am going to ask for confirmation from our hunter non par but in my book that bird on the car seat aint no turkey vulture...thats a turkey.

Wouldnt be the first time that law enforcement didnt get it right. I remember I had to stick around after finding 30 some bags of animal torsos in the reservation as the sheriffs couldnt identify them either.

The bird in the pic...legs to long, tail feathers reddish brown compared to the rest of the plumage, too much variation in the plumage.. turkey vultures dont have these white marbeled feathers...

Just look at this pic.

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/turkey_vulture/id/nc

The eagle has landed. :-ss


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