Friday, May 29, 2015

Black Bird Flying in the Early Morning

I was standing with my daughter as we waited for her school bus. Miranda's going to high school next year but so far, she still wants her dad standing with her and I don't mind.

This particular Thursday morning, we looked up and saw a large black bird with gray tips on his wings soaring through the sky above our street.

"Wow,  that's some hawk!" Miranda commented and I certainly agreed with her. This bird had an enormous wing span that rode the air as he gently arced gracefully above us. It was one of those moments you can't plan for yet brings such joy and wonder to life.

Miranda's bus made its turn down our street which is my cue to head back to the house. She might like the company of her dad while waiting for the bus but once the bus is in sight, buh-bye. Teenagers, what can you do?

As Miranda's bus pulled away, I was just about to get in my car to go to work when I noticed the house across the street. The large black bird my daughter and I had seen before came in for a landing on the roof of the house next to another black bird with gray tipped wings.

"Oh, there's two of them," I observed, but I was wrong. I became aware of movement on my neighbor's deck when I saw another one of these birds perched on the railing. Then he flew up to join the other, FOUR birds on the roof, making a total of 5 large black birds on the house. 

No, the total is now six, wait, seven because back down at the deck, another bird flitted up to perch on the railing while another one soared down to join her. (Her, him, I really have no idea but Miranda hates it when I refer to animals as "it" so...)

Now the total of these birds comes to nine as two more alight on the roof with five perched on the peak of the roof and two more hanging around the deck.

Nope, not nine birds but twelve as three more drifted down from the sky and landed in my neighbor's back yard. One of this group flew up to land on the side of the roof while the other two joined the two already perched on the deck railing.

Seeing birds in my neighborhood is not usually a big deal. There are wrens and sparrows aplenty and, of course, North Carolina's state bird, the cardinal, makes fairly regular appearances. And there are the crows, lots of crows. As for larger birds, I have seen an eagle once or twice. Hawks and hawk-like birds are not uncommon but I've never such a large gathering in one place of birds of this size. I wondered if all twelve of those birds hooked their claws into the roof and flapped those majestic wings with all the power they could muster, they would fly away with my neighbor's house.

Thankfully they had no such nefarious intent to purloin this residence. It appeared to be just a convenient rest stop or meeting place.

Later at work, I took a little time at lunch to research these birds and as best as I can determine, being large black hawk-like birds with gray wing tips, these were black vultures which can be found here in North Carolina.

But knowing they were vultures sort of gives the gathering of these winged shadows on the top of my neighbor's house a more ominous tone. But still it was a sight to see, the morning of the great black vulture convention.

Hey, everyone be good to one another. I'll be back with another post tomorrow.

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