Happy Halloween!

You never know what you will see in our two parks.  Here are a couple of photos of a Turkey Vulture sitting on top of one of PG&E’s towers.  According to Joan Morris, a pet column writer for the San Jose Mercury News, “Turkey vultures are among the most energy conservation minded creatures in the animal world, designed for the slow and easy lane.

Because they are scavengers and lack the ability to kill prey, they rely on someone or something else to do it for them. Thus every calorie they expend is carefully calculated. Once they are airborne, they ride the thermals, shifting their bodies in a sort of wobble that allows them to ride the air streams, and flapping their wings only when absolutely necessary. They circle, sniffing the air in search of a whiff that will tell them lunch is served.

Taking off requires a lot of energy, so once airborne, they tend to stay there for a long time. To help with the takeoff, they sit in the sun with their wings outstretched in a posture known as a horaltic pose. Experts believe they do this to increase their body temperature after a cool night, and to dry the morning dew from their wings. They also do it to let the sun bake off any bacteria they may have picked up from a messy meal.”

Let’s hope he or she was just passing through.  The photos were taken by Linda Goytia who often takes photos of the wildlife on her walks through the parks.  Thanks, Linda, for these amazing photos.

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