Taken near the dump on the highway. I had to use maximum zoom, and most shots aren't clear and can be deleted. So I'm glad I got this one! This was a gift, cause I was following 1, and number 2 jumped in unepxectedly right at the moment I clicked, the lill'darlink!
Found out these aren't hawks as I thought but Turkey Vultures. ~thanks
Wikipedia has interesting info on them!
Scavengers living in groups. Adult size from 6681 cm (2632 in) long with a 173183 cm (6872 in) wingspan and a weight of 1.4 kg. Their eyes have one incomplete row of eyelashes on the upper lid and two rows on the lower lid. The nostrils are perforates; from the side one can see through the beak. They have small webs between the 2 front toes, and often stand with their wings spread out, drying the wings, warming the body, and baking off bacteria. Like storks, they often defecate on their own legs, using the evaporation of the water in the feces and/or urine to cool itself . Its main form of defense is regurgitating semi-digested meat, a foul-smelling substance which deters most creatures intent on raiding a vulture nest. It will also sting if the predator is close enough to get the vomit in its face or eyes. They can't walk very well, they hop, and takes a lot of effort to take-off into flight. Once up, they soar, flapping their wings very infrequently, and taking advantage of rising thermals .
Females are slightly larger than the male. But the males bald heads and dark plumage makes em look like the male turkey, and vulture comes from vulturus means 'tearer' referring to how they feed. They have super vision and find meals by smell, they fly low enough and manage to detect gasses from early start of decay in dead animals. They rarily kill themselves, and also avoid putrefaction (those too long dead). Their hightened sense of smell guides them to carcasses, and other birds like King Vultures and Black Vultures,~ whose sense of smell isn't as well developed~ follow the Turkey Vulture to carcasses. The Turkey Vulture arrives first at the carcass, but is displaced in turn by the King Vulture, which makes the first cut into the skin of the dead animal. This allows the smaller, weaker-billed, Turkey Vulture access to food, because it cannot tear the tough hides of larger animals on its own. They are sometimes accused of carrying disease on their feet, but the virus that causes for instance hog cholera is killed when it goes through their digestive tract. Their droppings can harm or kill trees and other vegetation. They lay generally 2 eggs on the bare surface, without any nest construction. The eggs are cream-colored, with brown or lavender spots around their larger end. When adults are threatened while nesting, they either flee, or may regurgitate on the intruder or feign death. They are a protected species in the US.
Here's a nice close-up of one on the ground, plus the comment on why he's there is really interesting: [link]