Turkey Vultures across Ontario

by Jodie Hamilton, Karen, Richard, Mary Jo, Ripley Hawk, Francine, Mark, Tony, Bob J,
(Stoney Creek, Wasaga Beach, La Salle, Barrie, Whitby, Petrolia, Hamilton, Tiny Township, Oshawa, Sarnia, Aurora, Belleville, Toronto)

Many of our readers have written to tell us about their Vulture sightings in Ontario - some of them are below.

In April Jim wrote to say ... I have seen 2 birds that I believe are Turkey Vultures circling above Toronto at Yonge & Finch. I'm on the 22nd floor and got a pretty good close up look at them. Strong brown birds with a reddish head. Sorry no pictures but they are magnificent to watch.

Jodie Hamilton wrote to say ... We live in Olde Stoney Creek, Ontario. A group of at least a dozen of these Vultures spend the day on the roof of the apartment building at the corner of New Mountain Rd and King St E. Never had any issues with them until just recently when one flew to within a foot of grabbing our 9 wk old puppy from our back yard while my daughter was less than 6 ft away. She ran at it which diverted its clutching our puppy. Since then, no less than 6 of them have been circling our property at any given time throughout the day. I totally DISAGREE with you that they only eat dead animals. I have notified the local authorities in regards to these hunters of neighbourhood pets.

Karen from Wasaga Beach says ... Turkey Vultures, they are huge. I was quite disturbed when I saw them hovering in the sky over my cat, couldn't believe the size of them.

One of our readers wrote to say ... We have seen a venue(family?) of around 12 Turkey Vultures sitting in a high pine tree overlooking a busy road in LaSalle, Ontario (right outside of Windsor). We have seen them for at least the last 7 straight days. They are usually sitting on the highest branches, fairly closely grouped together. Yesterday half of them had their wings almost fully extended while sitting on the branch (which seems very unusual to me) with their backs to the rising sun. They were all clearly sunning themselves to gather the most warmth from the just-rising sun which was hitting them fairly squarely. In the rising sun light, the red featherless head is distinctly visible and obvious.

Another reader wrote to say ... I sighted the Vultures at 10 am in Barrie, Ontario May 3, 2016. It's the first time that I've ever seen a Turkey Vulture although I had heard of them and it was quite a surprise as well as exciting to see new wildlife in our backyard! There were 3 of them and 2 of them were agitated and wrestling a little bit but they all stayed together. It's a beautiful sunny day and they were spreading their wings and sunning. They've been hanging around for about a half hour perched on top of some small sheds on our neighbour's property. As well they would occasionally fly to the top of a chimney and trees that stood about 30 feet high. I'm glad to read that they feed on carrion as I have a 30 pound dog who likes to spend time in the backyard.

Richard from Whitby wrote to say ... I found a dead rabbit in back yard this morning. And saw a Turkey Vulture fly by the window a few feet off the ground and away from the rabbit - only the head and all guts were
taken off. I had never seen one before but it looked exactly like the picture above - but I'm thinking it killed the rabbit as well - what else would have done that and left the rest of the rabbit - foxes would have taken the rest of the rabbit away.

In early April Mary Jo wrote to say ... We live in Petrolia and for the last month or so, there have been a lot of Turkey Vultures flying over our area. There have to be at least 30 of them and they have been nesting in some huge trees on one of the side streets in the downtown area. They are just beautiful to watch. There is a lot of farmland in this area as well as a couple of landfill sites within a few miles or so. Everyday they make their way back to the trees around 6 - 7 pm.

Ripley Hawk from Hamilton, recently reported seeing "Satan's Minions" ... March 29th 2016 viewed from downtown Hamilton south facing apartment balcony) 19 Turkey Vultures just passed over my head cruising on a jet stream south/east to north/west. Zero flapping! Just massive kites with the ugly heads of Satan's minions. All staggered, back and forth like a run-on question mark's tail. It's 'dot' a straggler off in the distance. He's pulling up the rear eyeing a low-flying small engine plane likely hopping from Toronto to the Hamilton airport. So cool to see so many zipping across the sky on a thermal in a seemingly coordinated tandem.

Francine from Tiny Township wrote to say ... On Sunday April 3, 2016, at about 4 pm, we saw 3 Turkey Vultures in the young trees near our place between the 17th and 18th concessions along Tiny Beaches Road North.

Mark recently reported ... April 11, 2016 - 18:30 hrs, South east corner of Oshawa Airport. We are on the ridge over-looking Oshawa Creek and there were two Turkey Vultures waiting for something in our back yard.

Tony from Sarnia said ... April 26th just before dark, we saw one next to the road eating something in the ditch and one circled just above our car.

In March Bob J wrote to say ... We live on 20 acres in the Vivian Forest on the Oak Ridges Morraine east of Aurora. Have been seeing a pair of large Turkey Vultures (no doubt) circling the last few days. Coincidentally, we saw 5 wild Turkeys yesterday as well in the back 40. Must know it's Easter week-end.

One of our readers reported ... For the last few years a group of 10 - 16 Turkey Vultures have been returning to a specific residential property in an older neighbourhood in East End Belleville, Ontario. They can be seen starting after 6:30 pm as we walk the dog. I would like to know why this specific property. They swoop and glide in a block radius and only land in a very tall pine tree or another deciduous tree.

One of our readers says ... my son just came into our home and told me he just spotted a Turkey Vulture sitting on a telephone pole here in Toronto, in the Weston Road and Eglinton Ave area. He said it was very large with a red head, he slowed the car to get a better look and off it went.

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