In This Issue
Bird of the Month
Questions For Jim
What’s New
Bird Seed Fall Sale

Bird Seed

Bird Feeder

Bird House



Nature and
Wildlife Cams

Senior Citizen


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12458C Warwick Blvd, Newport News, VA 23606
in the Glendale Shopping Center
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Bird of the Month:  Turkey Vultures

They are nature’s most opportunistic scavenger, soaring effortlessly in the air on the lookout for their next meal. These incredible efficient scavengers help humanity by eating dead animals, or Mother Nature’s garbage disposal for the earth.

The biblical vulture, from the mountains of Sinai, is the Lammergeier [from the German Lammer (lamb) and geier vulture], because it was thought to take lambs.  Actually the vulture eats meat and bones, extracting the nutritious marrow by dropping larger bones from on high down to a favorite stone.  Legendary old world vultures are widespread in Africa, Asia and Europe.  The New World vultures are of the Cathartidae family (from the Greek kathartes), a cleanser because the vulture cleans up the dead.  The American Turkey buzzard is a vulture.  This is probably a South American name for this bird.  North American settlers who gave them their common name thought they look a bit like a turkey and soared like European buzzard.  The turkey vulture is a resident year round bird for us, and almost as big as a bald eagle.  With a wing span of 6 feet, we see them all the time in our sky.  It is an easy bird to identify. When overhead, look for the 2-tone blackish wing and the flight feathers are a paler gray and easy to spot.  The turkey vultures are graceful in flight.  The turkey vulture can soar up to six hours without flapping its wings, just by circling and tilting itself from side to side.  The body is v-shaped in flight and the infrequency of them not flapping their wings makes it easy to identify from a distance.  But up close you can’t miss the red, bald head that is smaller compared to its body.  They have yellowish bills and have pink to reddish legs.

Interesting Turkey Vulture Facts

Turkey vultures will lay 2 eggs per year and both parents sit on the eggs.  Young are born in 40 days.

Turkey vultures are found nesting on cliffs, in hollow trees and abandoned buildings.

Turkey vultures do not have any vocal organs and only hiss and grunt.

They only feed on dead animals unlike its cousin the black vulture who will feed on small live animals.

Turkey vultures like to feed alone as the black vulture feeds in groups.

Vultures feed on dead carcasses of animals and help lessen the chance of disease outbreaks like rabies.

Questions For Jim

Q:  Are the humming birds all gone for the season?  Can I stop feeding the hummingbirds now?

A:  The majority have left the area to go to the winter grounds.  You can get an occasional winter bird in November.  If you are ready to take your feeder down it is OK, it is your choice.

Q:  Do birds see color, or are they like animals that only see black and gray?

A:  Birds appear to have a well-developed color sense.  Recent experiments indicate that birds are sensitive to all colors, though some scientists believe they are less receptive to the blue end of the spectrum. The fact that birds see color should be no surprise for in all the forms of animal life, birds are the most colorful.

Q:  Do birds have keen sense of smell?

A:  scientists generally believe that birds have a relatively poor sense of smell. This belief is based largely on the fact that the nostrils of birds open into a dry, horny beak.  The turkey vulture is the exception as it has an excellent sense of smell.

Q:  Which North American bird builds the largest nest?

A:  The bald eagle builds the largest nest.  They also use the same nest year after year.  One nest in Ohio was 12 feet deep and 8-1/2 feet across.

Q:  What is the most ancient of man’s interest in birds?

A: Paintings of birds show up on walls of caves that prove that ancient man took accurate note of birds and their habits.  There is a literary reference to birds in the book of Genesis that was written in the 9th or 10th century B.C.  There is an account of the creation of the birds on the 4th day: “Let the water bring forth abundantly the moving creatures that hath life and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven” Genesis 1:20.

What’s New

We have new fall flags and mats, gifts and feeders.

New feeders by Birder’s Choice made with recycled materials.

New Rain Guard for the Squirrel Buster Plus. This works great and keeps seed dry and doesn’t clog. We have pocket guides:  New Virginia Trees and Flowers, as well as birds, butterflies and moths.

Bird Seed Fall Sale

Now through October 31, 2014, Black Oil Sunflower $5.00 off a 50 pound bag.

All other bird seed is also on sale.

Suet cakes are $0.99 until October 25, 2014:  flavors of Nutty Treat, Orange Treat, Berry Treat and Seed Treat.