January 15, 2019
Searching from the Sky
- as seen by -Martin Brogger, Claudio Campagna
A turkey vulture is in flight — its eyes alert and nostrils open as it senses its next meal. It is as if the entire body of this bird exists to support the olfactory sensors it uses to find carrion as it decays below.
At the site of Argentine Patagonia where this picture was taken, groups of 20 to 30 vultures search from the skies for their next meal during the day and rooster colonially at night. Windy Patagonia is a superb place for these bulky gliders. In some areas of their broad distribution across the Americas, turkey vultures venture near the ocean to eat dead sea lions. This does not happen in coastal Patagonia. As far as we know, they stop searching at the edge of the cliffs while another scavenger, the giant petrel, reigns at the beach.