So here it was the day before Thanksgiving and I wanted to draw a turkey. I called around trying to find a live one to sketch but failed. Then I tried to find a taxidermy turkey. No luck. The ranger at the Tilden Nature Center said they did have a collection of taxidermy birds including owl, songbirds, turkey vulture…but no turkey.
Wait! Turkey Vulture! It’s a bird, it’s named Turkey so why not? I called back to confirm they had it in stock (they rent it out: $10 for two weeks) and then drove up to Tilden Park.
Here are a few interesting things about Turkey Vultures:
- Turkey vultures (nicknamed “buzzard”) have a 5-6 foot wing span; “there is no more graceful bird in flight” but they have weak legs so walk awkwardly
- In order to fly they need a run into the wind to lift off and can fly 60 miles per hour
- Vultures are the “garbage collector of the bird world” and eat everything from dead mouse to moose.
- If they are in danger and can’t run, they vomit their foul-smelling meal at their enemy.
- Be thankful for them: “Without vultures, much of the world would be cluttered with the bodies of dead decaying animals.”
I’m Thankful For…
Along with turkey vultures, here are some things I’m grateful for:
- YOU, my dear blog visitor and reader,
- my much-loved friends and family, and
- the freedom, security, comfort, and good health that allow me to live this wonderful creative life.
I know none of the above is guaranteed or permanent so I try to be grateful every day, not just Thanksgiving. What are you thankful for?