The Clean-up Crew

The Clean-up Crew

Vultures and road kill

It's a fact of life in the country. Traffic takes its toll of the various creatures that try to dispute the right of way with cars and trucks. It's almost impossible to avoid many of these accidents, as the animals throw themselves under your wheels. Ground squirrels are among the most suicidal. They wait until a car approaches to decide that they's be safer in their own burrows, always on the other side of the road. Some of them even make it.

The nocturnal animals fare even worse. They become hypnotized by the headlights, and simply await their fates. This raccoon met just such an end the night before this picture was taken.

But the roadsides are not littered with corpses as you might expect. No, it's all recycled, and the vultures are the principal recyclers, aided by magpies, jays, and the odd coyote. This vulture and his fellows were cleaning up the remains when I stopped, but were driven off by a car that came up behind me before I could get a picture of the whole group that had been feeding on the carcass.

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)

Home Index
Previous Next