Cathartes Aura - Arrival

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Uploaded 2 May 2012 — 17 favorites
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© Richard Bruns
Views 163
Likes 10
Favorites 17
Comments 23
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Submitted to Pretty Ugly

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Photo Info
UploadedMay 2, 2012
TakenSeptember 29, 2006
ModelCanon EOS 20D
Exposure1/640 sec at f/5.6
FlashNo Flash
Focal Length170 mm
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

Cathartes Aura ... they are beautiful and magnificent, though most folks regard them as an 'ugly' bird due to their featherless heads. They prevent disease by disposing (rapidly) of carrion. They are very social birds performing a necessary service that benefits mankind. Their heads are bare so that they can easily clean themselves after feeding. When they are swirling together, mostly during the morning, they are riding thermals until they break away from their roosting area to go 'hunting.' This is called a kettle while they are on the thermals. When roosting together in the evening before dark and they are still visible, they are called a 'wake' because hunched over and silhouetted they look a little like they are in mourning. The wingspan of an adult can range up to 7.1 feet, yet they weigh 3-4 pounds. Turkey vultures migrate every year from western North America to eastern Mexico/Central America. Kern River Preserve in eastern Kern County is a stop-off during the migration. This TV is preparing to lift-off early in the morning. It spent the night in the forest canopy of Kern River Preserve in the background and will perch in the sun to take the chill off its wings. Soon it will lift from the branch and resume its journey. See: for Regenia Brabham's photo.

23 responses

  • Regenia Brabham

    Regenia Brabham gave props (2 May 2012):

    Fantastic shot!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Great timing!! Thank you so much for all the wonderful info you left on my image.

  • Richard Bruns

    Richard Bruns said (2 May 2012):

    Check out Regenia Brabham's JPG site; she's got some good bird photos.

  • Patrick Westerfield

    Patrick Westerfield gave props (2 May 2012):

    got my vote

  • Robert Sand

    Robert Sand said (2 May 2012):

    I like the way the arc of ghe wings plays off against the arc of the tree limb. Dandy shot.

  • Regenia Brabham

    Regenia Brabham said (2 May 2012):

    Thank you Richard. I am back to vote.

  • Susan Littlefield

    Susan Littlefield gave props (2 May 2012):

    Definitely gets my vote!!! A fantastic capture!

  • Ted Anderson

    Ted Anderson (Deleted) gave props (2 May 2012):


  • Barbara Huffert

    Barbara Huffert gave props (2 May 2012):


  • Patrick Marella

    Patrick Marella gave props (2 May 2012):

    got my vote

  • Andrea Petersen

    Andrea Petersen gave props (3 May 2012):

    Really a wonderful photo and entry with good information in the narrative as well...You have my vote

  • Kevin Kott

    Kevin Kott (Deleted) gave props (3 May 2012):

    My vote!!!

  • Judy and Wayne Wanamaker

    Judy and Wayne Wanamaker gave props (5 May 2012):

    A great capture and narrative! voted.

  • Nancy Richard

    Nancy Richard gave props (7 May 2012):

    Fabulous shot! It's not easy to capture a bird in flight.

  • Michele Wambaugh

    Michele Wambaugh (Deleted) said (8 May 2012):

    Wow! awsome

  • Roxana Brivent-Barnes

    Roxana Brivent-Barnes said (9 May 2012):

    Brilliant, voted!

  • Michele Wambaugh

    Michele Wambaugh (Deleted) said (9 May 2012):

    back to vote :)

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (10 May 2012):

    Oh YEAH! Rad!

  • Yana Edwin Murphy

    Yana Edwin Murphy gave props (12 May 2012):

    Great capture!

  • Michael F. OBrien

    Michael F. OBrien gave props (26 May 2012):


  • Brandon Melendez

    Brandon Melendez gave props (29 May 2012):

    Awesome Timing , another Great Capture. Keep up the Great work

  • Robert Larrazolo

    Robert Larrazolo gave props (29 May 2012):

    Excellent capture! voted.

  • Leslie Hunziker

    Leslie Hunziker   gave props (16 Jun 2012):

    beautifully captured!

  • Novak Nastasić

    Novak Nastasić gave props (21 Jun 2012):

    Great capture!

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