The Buzzard

By Judy Wade

Eight to 10 sleek black birds circling lazily not far above the ground caught by an updraft and occasionally flapping their gleaming wings almost seem majestic until you remember they are buzzards.

From afar they may look majestic, but up close they are among the ugliest creatures on earth. Tiny bald bright pink or red heads and long beaks contrast sharply with the wingspan of up to six feet.

Sometimes called “turkey buzzards,” if caught in just the right pose, they do resemble a turkey. They are actually a member of the vulture family and are among the most widespread birds in the Americas, ranging throughout North America, Central America and South America. They spread from Canada to Chile. Scientists believe their population is around 4.5 million birds.

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