Has anyone noticed an increase in the amount of turkey vultures? Are you seeing more vultures than you used to? In the past, it seemed like a rarity to spot a vulture in my area. The only place I saw them was on the side of the road, picking at the remains of something that had lost an encounter with a moving vehicle. Lately, I see them soaring all over the place. Most of the time, the vultures are flying solo or in pairs; sometimes there are several in a group. The other day, I saw eight or nine vultures circling over my house. It felt like they were spying on me and I started to wonder if I was looking sickly! Today, there were four vultures scouting over the parking lot at the grocery store.
If I lived in Georgia, I’d probably be very happy to only have a few vultures to watch. According to a news report by mnn.com, a Georgia neighborhood is experiencing an influx of hundreds of turkey vultures. I’ve seen Canadian geese in the hundreds, but not turkey vultures. Hundreds of vultures invading my neighborhood would be quite intimidating to say the least.
After doing some research, I’ve learned that my observation was correct. There really are more turkey vultures in New Jersey. Information provided by the USDA states that the turkey vulture population has increased over the past 50 years in northeast. Vultures can live up to 16 years. They are federally protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. As you are out observing wildlife where you live, are you noticing an increase in the amount of turkey vultures? We welcome your comments..
Editor’s Note – April 2012:
Here is a link for a more recent Nature in the Burbs post about vultures: Our New Neighbors: Vultures.