A very different critter under building ...


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Greybeard
April 18, 2003, 08:48 PM
Y'all may recall my whining in a thread a while back about some years not being able to keep coons, skunks and such from digging to get underneath a building.

Well, my son went out with me today and confirmed the same thing I've seen twice in the past week - a BUZZARD coming out of a "dig out" and quickly flying away. Like an unexpected covey rise, she scared the you-know-what out of me when I was opening the door at dusk the other night. I never knew a buzzard could flap such bigs wings that fast!

I say "she" because the bird is all black and the one she hangs out with on the adjacent cell phone tower is more colorful - red head and lower legs. Yesterday, both of them watched me for the longest while I was on the riding mower. Then as I got closer, he made a couple of very unbuzzardlike passes (within 15 yards) before soaring off for a while, then relanding on the tower next to his mate. Both of 'em facing my way and eyeballing.

When the time came to put the riding mower back in the building, I was not inclined to want to turn my back on them. :eek: ' Went and got myself the trusty old 34" Johnny Bench and BACKED the little tractor up the ramps onto the floor area directly over where the bird seems to be hanging out.

Ya think maybe they've actually got a nest under there? ' Never really gave much thought to where and how buzzards hatch out, but down in "skunk country" does not seem very bright to me ... :confused:

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Preacherman
April 18, 2003, 09:32 PM
I'm no expert on the breeding and nesting habits of buzzards, but that's a new one on me... has this sort of behavior been noted before? Why would they nest under a house where they know humans live? I can't figure this one out... unless they think your pets might make suitable "meals-on-wheels" when the happy event occurs!

:uhoh:

Greybeard
April 18, 2003, 10:44 PM
Actually. the "building" was originally an ocean-going shipping container. It's leveled up a few inches on cross-ties, so I do have to use short ramps to get tractor inside. Cell phone tower is only about 50' from doors and the buzzards have used it for a resting place since it was built in about this time of year in '97. Rare, but we counted 44 of 'em one evening a few years ago. Except for munching on road kills, I've not seem 'em down low until just the past week or so. I thought it rather odd the other day when I saw a male walking around on top of the building, but then after seeing the female come out from under it later ... :confused: I may have to get out the flashlight when more time tomorrow ... and someone is around to watch my 6 ! :eek:

Greybeard
April 19, 2003, 12:38 PM
' Mentioned this to a lady friend who sent the following link: http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/wildlife/nesting_birds/birds1.htm

In scrolling down, it looks like our part of the country is borderline for having both the turkey vulture and the black vulture.

Interesting note in there about them often returning to same nest year after year unless "severely disturbed" ... :evil: ;) Naaaa ... Maybe some cute :confused: :barf: :confused: pictures one of these days, then probably time to get serious again with more gravel and/or skirting ... :(

Zorro
April 20, 2003, 01:17 AM
.22 Pistol and Search lights in a Midnight Spelunking Search and Destroy mission.

Maybe a .410 if noise isn't a problem.

HAPPY HUNTING! :evil:

MLH
April 20, 2003, 11:43 AM
I believe that buzzards are federally protected. A long jail sentence could be in store if someone found out you shot one.:uhoh:

Greybeard
April 20, 2003, 12:27 PM
MLH - Mucho comprendo on protection. Lead not in a plan.

Got a big black cat named "Bud" that lives there full time (for 7+ years). Not sure how long he'll put up with such on "his turf". He's been known to bring young, live rabbits into office and drop at my feet as a "gift". Not sure what a mama buzzard would think of such with one of her siblings. Not sure Bud wants to find out either.

I got busy elsewhere and did not even get out there yesterday. But soon now ... and gonna get the big flashlight ...

Edited to add: Upon arrival, no buzzards or Bud to be seen. (Bud likely off having Easter dinner with one of the neighbors ... :) ). In cautiously looking in and around everywhere possible, about 7 feet back from doors, I spotted what look like at least two eggs from a super-sized chicken. Eggs laying directly on ground. Possibly another or two, but if so, too obscured by leaves to see. What I did see clearly though when I stood up was the Mama buzzard - once again perched on the tower giving me the evil eye. :eek:

Stinger
April 20, 2003, 04:17 PM
Shoot...shovel...shut up!

Stinger

MeekandMild
April 20, 2003, 05:49 PM
Although nesting sites are commonly located in hollow trees or hollow logs lying on the ground, these vultures will nest on cliffs, in caves, and in dense shrubbery That's actually kind of cool, having buzzards around. I would never shoot one, law or no law. They are really the souls of forgotten ancestors, sent back for killing critters they didn't eat.

Ledbetter
April 21, 2003, 01:49 PM
I wouldn't shoot or disturb one either. Can't think of a downside to having them around to clean up. Get you some pictures and sell them to National Geographic.

gun-fucious
April 21, 2003, 06:01 PM
Get you some pictures and sell them to National Geographic

they better be some pretty impressive pictures

;)

Bruz
April 21, 2003, 07:47 PM
I would not shoot them either...they may be going under your container to eat baby skunks and coons that are nested there.

Greybeard
April 21, 2003, 11:28 PM
Nupe, like I said, no lead in the plan.

I was out there again briefly this morning. Had not seen the cat for a few days (which is not too unusual) and walked around some calling for him. Mama buzzard flew out from under building directly to tower, so I suspect still babysittin' eggs.

I do have 35mm camera with good zoom lense. ' Might have to improvise some to get decent light on the subject(s). If some critter does not get to the eggs first ... And if the cat does not find 'em first ... But, before getting down in a position to get a shot with camera, probably a good idea to have someone around to watch my 6! If interest, old photos of another female buzard (and a Roadrunner, and Bud) about 2/3 of the way down on "General Info." page at www.dentoncountysports.com

Driving back from Austin today, I asked The Wife "I wonder what a Mama buzzard feeds her babies?" You really don't want to know her answer. :barf: :D

Greybeard
April 21, 2003, 11:49 PM
Quote: "Can't think of a downside to having them around to clean up."

Think of a dozen of 'em roosting 50'-150' off the ground, UPWIND.

And they don't clean THAT up after themselves. Verizon leases around 1500 square feet for their tower and little building, so the stuff does not always stay within the confines of their 8' fence ...

Fortunately, not many strong winds out of the east - but I have opted to do an "abbreviated version" of a few hunter skills trail stations down that way. And inform some "city kids" of what kind of "cool" feathers they were picking up. :D

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