Birds

International Vulture Day Has Landed

The dramatic birds are in the celebratory spotlight on the first Saturday of September.

Zen Rial

SPYING A TURKEY VULTURE, or a dozen, on a chilly October morning, up in the branches of a tree that has already mostly dropped its colorful leaves? That's a rare and thrilling sight, a fleeting and feathery moment that feels as symbolic of fall as apples, pumpkins, and chilly nights. Vultures may often cameo in cartoons, especially the Halloween-themed shows, but they're noble birds that play an important role, wherever they happen to alight. To honor their place in various ecosystems, and to pay homage to their handsome appearance, wide wingspan, and other notable qualities, zoos and animals parks around the world regularly host a holiday in their honor. It's...

INTERNATIONAL VULTURE DAY, and it is flap-flap-flapping into our worlds on Saturday, Sept. 5. Many zoos remain temporarily closed because of the pandemic, and those that are open have cancelled many in-zoo events. But your local animal park? They may still have a pair of vultures you can admire, even if there isn't a keeper giving a crowd a close-up look at the large birds. And if you'd like to know more about a type of New World vulture who famously calls California home, all while staying in your own home, you can visit the Ventana Wildlife Society page, which tracks the California condor around Big Sur and the Central Coast.

THE NATURE-MINDED ORGANIZATION... has been keeping tabs on the state of local condors following the Dolan Fire sweeping through the birds' Big Sur sanctuary in August 2020. Good news? There've been a number of condor sightings in recent days. Learn more now.

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