Friday, April 3, 2009

The Black Vulture in The Woodlands Texas, soars with the Eagles

Over the past few months, I have observed these creatures hanging around the forest. Our Eagles consider them a threat while chicks and Eaglets are in the nest. So there is always one Eagle standing guard, chasing the vultures away from the nest at this vulnerable stage. Both the Bald Eagle and the Black Vulture will soar high above ground, looking for food. It is difficult for a human to ascertain which is which when they are so high. In fact, I can attest to this today. After viewing the young Eagles flying above the high pines of the forest, I left the area and went on to photograph other things, after all, it is spring, and there are no many stories being told in nature every day. This one, however, was not on my list.

As I got out my bazooka lens, I noticed two birds high in the sky. I said to myself, how convenient for them to come to me this time. Wrong! This is the same species of vulture that I have photographed in Colombia. In central Texas, we normally see the much uglier Turkey Vulture, with its red face and fully white wing feathers. The Black Vulture has only the wing tips in white and the face is dark or black.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

And the Woodlands Eagles Fully Fledge

They have left the nest! Still nearby, but now enjoying their new-found freedom over the forest. Today, I came up on one perched on a tree limb fairly low to the ground. He was a little rustled by the strong winds, gripping the limb tightly with his talons. His sibling was flying over part of the forest nearby while he seemed to be just resting for the day. No parents were flying nearby for the short time I was observing them.
I did catch the first view of him flying but did not capture it well with the camera lens. He was flying at a very fast speed with the wind. I am presenting the photo anyway.

Both young birds were enjoying their mobility and showed signs of advanced training by soaring through the tree tops. They will be hunting soon.