Naperville in the “Buzz”ard’s Flight Path


California Condor

Quickly now: Which is the Turkey Vulture and which is the California Condor?

We know how good animals seem to be at telling us when natural events are going to happen, such as rain, earthquakes, and severe storms. Animals can also tell us about other things too, as you will note in this article.

This past week two gigantic birds appeared on a rooftop in the Naperville, Illinois area. If people were alarmed at the sight of these birds it is no wonder.

After all, Turkey Vultures ARE true vultures, eaters of carrion and seekers of it. Also they are huge, with wingspans of six feet and large bodies with featherless pinkish heads and large beaks. The sight of a couple of them in a residential area is not uncommon in the Southeast, where I am from.

Thus when I heard about them here and the stir they caused I at first did not see why people should be alarmed but for the fact that some folks might have never seen Turkey Vultures before. Some people thought they were Condors (properly, California Condors) but they are not, though Condors are members of the vulture family.

The California Condor is one of America’s largest birds, with wingspans of ten feet and gargantuan bodies. They are still endangered and very few are around in their native region but they are being bred and re-introduced into their former range.

California Condor at San Diego Zoo, USA.

California Condor at San Diego Zoo, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Back to being alarmed about the presence of vultures so low to a residence; there was an incident in Nashville one day that I recalled on seeing the photo of the vultures atop the Naperville home. I have since mentioned that incident to Naperville law enforcement.

It happened one fine day that I was outside on our front lawn, just enjoying the weather when of a sudden two Turkey Vultures flew very low and rather fast below treetop level, as though searching for something nearby. Animals’ sense of smell can be very keen indeed, and these birds must have been on the trail of something I could not sense around, so after they went away I just resumed my musings.

As it happened there was something going on down the side street just the corner over from our place. A man was found in a vehicle behind a townhouse, and apparently he had been there at least four days. Once I was aware that something was going on I went to investigate and wish I hadn’t been so curious, especially when the wind turned. Yecch.

Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture (Photo credit: Jim Bahn)

Isn’t the animal kingdom amazing? I still wonder what brought those birds to Naperville – the weather, as some people speculated or perhaps the attraction of something dead. Thinking it might be the latter gave me cause to report the unusual events of that Nashville day.

All I can say is I hope all is well for the people of Naperville.





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