My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

The Adventure to Ripley

Turkey Vulture

We had a wonder time heading out to the Ripley Hawk Watch. In my previous post I talked about the many hawks we observed while on this trip. Overall we had 46ish species of birds, 5 first for 2007’s and one lifer on this trip! We started off this trip with some Barn Swallows under the highway bridge (CHECK, first for 2007). In this one town heading out to Ripley, the leader (who was in the car ahead of ours) had turned his vehicle around and started heading back the direction we were coming from. Then he pulled right up to someone’s house (it was trash day) and we thought he was interested in a TV that was out in the front lawn!! He was interested in their TV’s but the big feathery kind. He had observed a whole group of Turkey Vultures on top of someone’s house. The people at the Hawk Watch stated that the individual who owns the house is unable to sell it because the vultures are scaring off all potential buyers! I wonder what is so interesting with this one house that the Turkey Vultures??

Turkey Vultures Turkey Vultures

The other first for 2007’s included a Brown Thrasher (CHECK) singing at the Hawk Watch site. In my previous post I had mentioned the Broad-winged Hawk (CHECK) and Northern Harrier (CHECK). While leaving Ripley we made a quick stop over to one of the marinas along Lake Erie. There were many Caspian Terns (CHECK) fishing which included me photographing them diving directly into the water (that was ace watching).

Caspian Tern

Without a doubt the highlight for my day was the lifer that I got called a Western Meadowlark (CHECK). This species looks identical to the Eastern Meadowlark but you can tell the difference by listening to the song that it sings. The video below is facing the ground (microphone facing the bird) so that I could get the best recording I could of it! I could upload a picture of the bird but it was a speck some distance away (will spare everyone and only play the song that I captured).

I also really enjoyed playing with one of the neighbors dogs (at the hawk watch) that kept on wanting me to play fetch with it. Thought everyone would enjoy seeing the happy dog!!

Ripley Hawk Watch Dog

Happy Earth Day

14 responses

  1. I have seen TVs perch on dead trees – maybe they need to put up a platform where the birds can perch, away from the house in question.

    Here is a picture of a Western Meadowlark:
    Western Meadowlark

    23 April 2007 at 12:20 am

  2. hoaryredpoll

    There is a certain elegance about Turkey Vultures, what they lack in sight and sound they make up in their effortless grace in flying. Truly one of the most interesting birds of the Western Hemisphere. Great Pictures too!

    Kudos on the Western Meadowlark, a tough bird to get in NYS.

    http://www.pbase.com/cabbage_hollow

    23 April 2007 at 12:28 am

  3. vultures have long been one of my fave birds… they are so beautiful, we have several living near our house

    23 April 2007 at 3:19 am

  4. Congrats on the great day and the Western Meadowlark — that is one of the birds on my I WANNA SEE IT list. Happy dog! Happy dog!

    23 April 2007 at 3:28 am

  5. I saw your T Vulture on Flickr already. Perhaps if they had a beautiful face, the prospective buyers wouldn’t care so much :o)

    Great list, once again! Glad to see you included a very happy dog scratching his back in the warm sun.

    23 April 2007 at 9:06 am

  6. A house haunted by turkey vultures–hmmmmm. And no one wants to buy it?!?
    I love the recording of the meadowlark. I played it a couple of times, and certainly got my one cat’s attention.
    And, how nice of you to play with the dog. Based on the pic, it is clear that dog wanted to play!

    23 April 2007 at 9:24 am

  7. I’d hop up and down to have a turkey vulture on my house- (one of my favorite birds)
    I wonder if the police have investigated any strange odors coming from that house…
    I had a brown thrasher pay a visit to my backyard this morning- no singing though.
    Gulls and terns…can you see my eyes rolling up in my head? I really need to try to learn a bit about them though…later.
    What a happy dog!

    23 April 2007 at 10:08 am

  8. Great that you saw, that is, heard the Western Meadowlark. I also saw and heard one for the very first time this spring. It is so cool to hear that sound and realize it is not the Eastern Meadowlark, though I love their song just as much! I love that picture of the dog….every day is better with dogs. He sure looks glad to be outside!

    23 April 2007 at 1:05 pm

  9. _Great bird to get Western Meadowlark-Nice tern pic-I haven’t really identified any turns to be honest.
    Turkey Vultures get on people’s houses around here some times as well.
    Maybe the dog is hawk watching.

    23 April 2007 at 6:41 pm

  10. We had dog visitors at the hawk watch yesterday too – they do make things happier for a while, don’t they?

    There’s a very expensive house along the river where I live that attracts turkey vultures the same way and I always wondered what it was about THAT particular house that they liked so much. Strange!

    23 April 2007 at 9:03 pm

  11. I read somewhere that Turkey Vultures will use the same branch on the same tree to roost on for their entire life. Perhaps this house is their branch.

    23 April 2007 at 9:37 pm

  12. @ Nature – they need to do something! LOL – love your photo of the Western Meadowlark!
    @ Hoary Redpoll – Thanks and glad the Hawk Watch people told us about the bird!
    @ Eel – they are great to watch, thanks!
    @ Liz – Thanks and I was very happy adding it to my list also!
    @ Mary – the dog was fun and those TV’s were fun also!
    @ KGMom – thanks and I bet the house is hunted!
    @ Lynne – I two would love to have them on my house! But, guess they have been on this house for a very long time! It isn’t a recent thing! I only wish I could have gotten closer to the meadowlark!
    @ Veery – They are great birds, thanks! The dog was a fun distraction from resting our eyes!
    @ Larry – Thanks and Thanks! The Caspian Tern is an easy one to start off with.
    @ Laura – I would think people would have to pay more to get TV’s on their house for free! That is ace about the dog at your hawk station also!
    @ Barb – I bet they do and I always seem to find them in the same area! But they do need to nest somewhere!

    24 April 2007 at 8:55 am

  13. Any idea why the TVs are using that house as a roost? Does it smell that bad?

    25 April 2007 at 7:53 pm

  14. @ Marty – not sure, maybe it is the highest point of the town? I doubt because of the smell, the hawk watch people said they have been their for many years.

    26 April 2007 at 8:10 am

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