Outdoor Radio usually takes us to a mountain top, pond or forest to get close to wildlife. But this month, biologists Sara Zahendra and Kent McFarland are on top of the National Life building in Montpelier. For the past several years, National Life employees have been able to watch Turkey Vultures right out their windows. The birds are likely drawn to the rooftop for warmth. They show off their 6-foot wingspans as they soar and land on the building. While Kent and Sara watch these incredible birds, we learn how to identify Turkey Vultures and how it is that they can eat dead animals and not get sick.
Listen to the show
- Learn how to identify Turkey and Black Vultures on All About Birds.
- Turkey vulture population trends from the Vermont Breeding Bird Atlas of Life.
- When are they arriving and departing Vermont? Find out with the Vermont eBird phenology chart
- See a live map of this year’s turkey vulture sightings and images on Vermont eBird. You can add your observations too.
- Vermont eBird photos.
Images from the Show
Outdoor Radio is produced in collaboration with Vermont Public Radio with support from the Jack and Dorothy Byrne Foundation.
Great!! Love the story and the photos. I live “down” in Montpelier (next VCFA) and have enjoyed watching a group of about a dozen TVs that have roosted and nested in some White Pines nearby on Marvin Street for almost two decades. One cold spring morning I saw them perched in the chimney of a house warming their feet! When they come circling in at the end of the day, it is such a special time.
Ah ha! I thought they must roost in some big pines nearby and come to the building to sun! Thanks for that observation! They don’t usually nest in trees unless there is somewhat of a cavity or something in a huge tree. They don’t really build a nest. What an interesting bird. Imagine how smart to perch on a warm chimney!
Thanks, Kent. My bad about nesting. I just made that assumption. Do visit the site at some point and see what they are up to. Always easy to follow them in at dusk. Are a group of TVs called a “kettle” also??