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An Aerial Ballet January 31, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Humor, Nature, Poetry.

Vultures lack grace
(and table manners)
when consuming carrion carcasses

But in flight
They delight

Wikipedia ~ Condor (in Public Domain)

Waltzing throught the sky
Synchronized motion
Catching currents
Flying in repose

An aerial ballet
Of the highest measure

Black swans
With kaleidoscope heads

Wikipedia ~ Condor (in Public Domain)

Bald . . .

Bold . . .

Bad to . . . the bones


1. Carl D'Agostino - January 31, 2012

I have been following recent dinosaur theory development which asserts that their descendants are birds, a result of the evolutionary survival of species process in a sort of downsizing effort. Also suggested is that TRex was a carrion eater like vultures. Its massive jaws and teeth designed to chomp through dead flesh and bone. Not a slashing hunter like the raptor class. In Miami the hawks are quite active and I see a lot of them. I am on an off shoot canal of Biscayne bay and they have been circling for near surface bait fish.

nrhatch - January 31, 2012

Sounds like a nice spot on the canal, Carl. It’s my understanding that dinosaurs and birds are close relatives ~ fortunately the vultures around here are less fierce than the might T-Rex (which makes alligators and crocodiles looks like puddy cats).

I love watching birds (hawks, osprey, pelicans, wood cranes, egrets, herons, ibis, spoonbills) as they fly overhead. I am less inclined to watch when they dine. Besides watching fish disappear into their gullets, I’ve seen a hawk eat a frog, a heron eac a rat, and vultures eating . . . well . . . just about anything.

2. suzicate - January 31, 2012

They are beautiful and graceful in flight.

nrhatch - January 31, 2012

I watched a trio yesterday . . . playing with the currents and they waltzed through the sky. Gorgeous.

3. Cindy - January 31, 2012

Nice segue, Nancy. But what on earth is that baldy bird???

nrhatch - January 31, 2012

That’s a California Condor . . . a species of vulture. Can’t get much more psychedelic than that, eh? 😯

4. adeeyoyo - January 31, 2012

I love your title and it is SO apt, Nancy! Ballet is exactly the right word.

nrhatch - January 31, 2012

Thanks, Denise. They are consumate aerialists . . . without a trapeze or safety net.

5. Ruth - January 31, 2012

up close and personal, they are not the prettiest things, are they?

nrhatch - January 31, 2012

I guess being bald helps when neck deep in dinner . . . but birds with feather head dresses are a tad more attractive. 😉

6. kateshrewsday - January 31, 2012

Oh, what a treat: for myself and Maddie, who loves birds with a passion. Thanks for this beautiful musing on our feathered friends. They are awesome in the old sense of the word.

nrhatch - January 31, 2012

I’ll have to do an OWL post for Maggie at some point. I hear them more often than I see them.

I’m with you . . . birds are AWESOME. 😀

7. thirdhandart - January 31, 2012

I agree that bald birds aren’t totally gorgeous. But bald men can be attractive… at least when it comes to my husband and a few others like Bruce Willis, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Vin Diesel, Samuel L. Jackson and Sean Connery. Now that I think of it, I guess it helps if their persona is “bad to the bone”.

nrhatch - January 31, 2012

Some people look great sans hair ~ it adds to their charisma. Vultures, in contrast, lack that certain je ne sais quoi. 😉

8. Andra Watkins - January 31, 2012

I always mistake them for eagles or hawks. 🙂

nrhatch - January 31, 2012

We saw a bald eagle fly overhead today. Beautiful. A number of vultures flew in close proximity. It wasn’t until he got close enough to see the white head and tail feathers that we knew it was an eagle.

9. souldipper - January 31, 2012

Oh, I like this alot, Nancy – especially the contrast between their table manners and graceful flight.

I know someone who looks like the last photo – truly! Puffed out cheeks, downward mouth, et al. I’m wiping up tea…

nrhatch - January 31, 2012

Oh, my . . . what a stern countenance to bear/bare on this flight through life. Sorry about the tea. 😉

10. jannatwrites - January 31, 2012

They do look graceful in flight…but I prefer they not circle over me 🙂 (I know, if they are circling me, I’m already gone, but I’d like my carcass to stay intact.)

Vultures were not meant for close-up head shots.

nrhatch - January 31, 2012

They are NOT meant for close ups! 😉

Vultures perform a valuable service . . . cleaning up carrion so that it doesn’t decay. But, like you, I prefer not to be the carcass.

11. Patricia - January 31, 2012

I love to watch big birds soar. I would like to know what it feels like.

nrhatch - January 31, 2012

Same here. I have always wanted to take flight . . . in my dreams, I soar.

12. sufilight - January 31, 2012

To think that such a scary bears bird can indeed be graceful while flying. Enjoyed the photo essay. 🙂

nrhatch - January 31, 2012

Thanks, Marie. They are beautiful . . . at a distance. 😀

13. 2e0mca - February 1, 2012

Great birds and excellent choice of music 🙂

nrhatch - February 1, 2012

“Black swans” -> “kaleidoscope heads” -> bad to “the bones.” 😉

14. Jackie L. Robinson - February 1, 2012

We have a lot of vultures in this area….they are so magnificent with their wingspan and the glide through the air. Even seeing one cleaning up a carcass….their size is immense….awe-inspiring. And I love the animal medicine they emanate: releasing & cleansing. Loved your photos…thanks for the morning beauty today. xoxo

nrhatch - February 1, 2012

Thanks, Jackie! Animal medicine . . . does that make them “doctors with wings”? 😉

15. wolfsrosebud - February 1, 2012

do love the purple face pic… I think my 4 year old grand colored something similar recently and I told her birds weren’t that color… my bad.

nrhatch - February 1, 2012

When we don’t encourage children to reign in their creativity, they surprise us with their intuitive understanding, eh?

16. winsomebella - February 1, 2012

You captured the ballet marvelously. Thanks.

nrhatch - February 1, 2012

Thanks, Bella. The photos are from Wikipedia ~ what a marvelous resource. 😀

17. Booksphotographsandartwork - February 1, 2012

They fascinate me.

nrhatch - February 1, 2012

Watching wildlife is an eye-opening experience . . . and it opens our hearts too.

18. Team Oyeniyi - February 2, 2012

That is lovely Nancy. They are so wonderous in flight.

nrhatch - February 2, 2012

The contrast between how they fly and how they eat is stark. 😉

19. spilledinkguy - February 2, 2012

Sometimes it’s good to be bad to the bones (I think), Nancy!
Very cool!

nrhatch - February 2, 2012

A rebel with a cause! 😉

20. eof737 - February 4, 2012

Bad to the bone… but elegant no less. 😉

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