Today is Vulture Awareness Day around the world. Vultures may not be the most popular birds among the general public, but they are vital members of the environment. They are facing a range of pressures around the world, most famously from diclofenac poisoning.
The official International Vulture Awareness Day logo
A few years ago, I accompanied Patti Reynolds and stalwart volunteer/ house taxidermist Markus to retrieve and injured Turkey Vulture. Her wing injury would prove to be of the sort that just can’t be fixed, but Markus, Patti, and Laura gave the bird their all in hopes of a good outcome. It is so often the case that the stresses these birds encounter before entering Indiana Raptor Center’s care prove to be too much, and the best that can be done is to provide a safe, stress-free environment for their passing.
Patti and Markus rescue an injured Turkey Vulture
An injured Turkey Vulture, rescued by Indiana Raptor Center
Laura Edmunds and Patti Reynolds tend to an injured Turkey Vulture
It was exciting to watch my first bird rescue. For my part, I got to hold a big net and help form a perimeter so Patti and Markus could nab her. She had not eaten recently, and therefore couldn’t manage the trademarked defense-by-repulsion method Turkey Vultures favor: good old-fashioned puke.
Bird rescue and rehabilitation is a tireless occupation, with many heartbreaks along the way. Please donate to Indiana Raptor Center to help us rescue and care for these birds, and if you cannot attend our Raptor Rendezvous fundraiser on September 12, 2015, please consider purchasing a ticket for a local first responder!