Thursday, September 24, 2009

Testing, testing

Sutter Buttes 09
Originally uploaded by for the birds1
We are going to New Zealand in a few weeks, and we're trying to figure out how best to post pictures. (Not everyone we know is on Facebook). We shall see...

This photo was taken at Sutter Buttes, right here in northern California. It is the world's smallest mountain range.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Happy International Vulture Awareness Day

Yes, we should be aware of our fine-feathered friends, the vultures. There are three species found in northern North America: 1) the Turkey Vulture, which is spread over all the lower 48 states 2) the Black Vulture which can be seen in south eastern US 3) the California Condor which has been re-introduced in California, Arizona and Baja.

Some interesting factoids about vultures:
1. Vultures are a good example of convergent evolution. New World Vultures (listed above) share similar diets, behavior, and appearance with Old World Vultures, yet the groups are not related taxanomically.
2. Turkey Vultures especially are highly migratory. They are the most common raptor seen at the Veracruz River of Raptors in Mexico.

We should appreciate the vultures as well; they provide a valuable service to us, acting as our carrion clean-up crew. Let's hear it for the vultures!