So, I just learned that one word for a bunch of vultures is a committee of vultures. While they can also be called a wake, venue, kettle or volt, I found the concept of a committee most intriguing. Maybe it is because of my non-profit work all these years. I love the idea of a committee of vultures sitting around considering their next dead meal. You will recall that I wrote about the electric plant that let out so much hot water from their cooling process that the river rose to 109 degrees. It was creepy paddling through the mist that rose from the hot water evaporating into the cool air. One moment we were in cool air, the next in a sauna! On the other side of the river, waiting to see if we would survive the passage across this hell-like water, was a committee of vultures. They took me off guard as they were very still, some with their wings spread to dry and others just perched on low branches or the river bank. My mind could not fathom what I was seeing and then some of them moved and Karen pointed out that they were vultures. Thus ensued a fairly long example of how we cogitate on things like the difference between vultures and buzzards. We looked it up later and found they are essentially one and the same. Do dead fish actually emerge from that icky water for them to munch on?
Well, as though that scene was a bit too eerie, we were pleasantly amused to see yet another committee of vultures a few hundred feet down river. This committee had certainly NOT considered their actions carefully enough. We startled them mid-session and they lifted off the river’s edge to fly to a branch. Question: why do they always go to dead branches? Well, they may have considered a different strategy in their next committee meeting for when they all lit upon this branch, the branch broke beneath them and they all flew away. Needless to say, Karen and I laughed a fair amount and wished we had had a video running. I think it would have gone viral on You Tube had we caught them in their faux pas.
Anyway, I didn’t get their picture but I did get a shot of the first committee meeting.