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Welcome to my blog world. This is a photo blog, poetry and short story blog about my life on Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada. I take photos of the birds and scenery I find. I hope you enjoy your time here and please come back again. PHOTOS WILL ENLARGE IF CLICKED. The photos are slide show enabled if you click on them. If you click on the top lighthouse photo it always takes you to the most recent summary list of my postings. I am also mostly at my Facebook Page Island Rambles or my Instagram islandrambles.


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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Black Vulture Out in Metchosin

There is a Black Vulture out there in Metchosin....these pictures are of our local Turkey Vultures with the red head.

So we went looking for the Black Vulture out there. All the birders were very excited at first. We don't get Black Vultures here.

We found a mature Turkey Vulture. This is the kind of Turkey Vulture that is common here with the red head.

We also found a Turkey Vulture with a black head and we were pretty excited but it was a young Turkey Vulture.  We were told the Black Vulture was smaller and had a short tail.

We did see many TV's all circling overhead and apparently this is where the Black Vulture is. I never was in the right place at the right time to get an actual good photo of him. He is somewhere up there.

I think this is the story of the outed Black Vulture, it may not be correct. His name is Balthazar. He escaped out unexpectedly from his cage at the rehab centre in Duncan, when a tree fell on his cage in June or he somehow got out through a hole the fallen tree made.

I am putting in some pictures I  have taken there in the past of the normal red headed Turkey Vulture.

I think this Black Vulture was at the Raptors Centre or Pacific Northwest Raptors. He was there because he was sent there for rehab from Georgia, USA. He was sent with a group of non-releasable injured raptors mostly hit by cars, but he got well and could fly.

They did not think he could fly. These things happen. Life is not perfect. They do an amazing job at the Raptor Centre. Here are some pictures I took in the past at the Centre.

I have put in below some pictures I took at the Raptor Centre of what I think is a  Black Vulture this summer who it looks like to me has a harness on or a cover over one side of his wing so he may be one of the injured Black Vultures that they are taking care of.
Edit Note just added in:  I contacted the Raptors in Duncan and got a wonderful reply immediately!  Here is the info to explain the vulture pictures below. This is Atticus a black vulture from Georgia (USA). He is a non-releasable wild bird who had an old break on his right wing, so he could not fly and could not get the food he needed in the wild so he needed a long-term home.

He is wearing a modified "Thundershirt" which is a deep pressure shirt for dogs/cats for anxiety, this was used to cover up a surgery site. His old right wing with the break developed complications and they had to amputate the wing to save him. The shirt was used to cover up the stitches while he healed and it is off now. The stitches are out and he is doing very well. The complications have passed. Isaac at the Raptors says "he's back to his old, lovely self". 

I kept thinking of this vulture for weeks now and I am so happy that the Raptor centre replied immediately to me about the brace or shirt on this bird. I would have asked at the time I was there but we had a downpour of rain, rain and camera not mixing well.

The Pacific Northwest Raptor Center or The Raptors is an amazing place to go. If you ever visit Vancouver Island it is the best place to see all kinds of raptors and birds. They do an amazing job there to teach city children all about birds and raptors. The Raptor Centre is the only hope we have to teach our children about the value of nature and birds.

The Black Vulture that got out will probably stay with the other Turkey Vultures in the area. Some of them fly south and some stay around here. He was seen happily eating on a deer carcass so it is wonderful that he can fly and found a group of vultures to live with.  News item. There still is a chance that this is a wild Black Vulture that got here somehow but I think he is the escapee.

I am on Facebook so you can find me there, link in contact on the top. You can see my Island Rambles Fan Page where I post every day and also my own Facebook. I have started on Instagram also so you can find my photos there also. I post a video every day on my Island Rambles YouTube Channel also.

Thank you to these meme hosts for allowing bloggers to share their story.  Click on these links to find great blogs and photos. This post is for these wonderful bloggers:
The Bird D'Pot  Sunday Thank you Hootin' Anni
Nature Notes Tuesday Thank you to Ramblingwoods
Our World Tuesday  Thank you to the Our World Team, Lady Fi
Wild Bird Wednesday Thank you to Stewart
ABC Wednesday   Thank you to Melody we are at the letter "O" for the Turkey Vulture Out
GoodFences Thursday Thank you to Gosia



  1. Not the cutest or most lovable bird I've ever seen, but it's good that there are people out there who care about them - and care for them. I tend to disagree with most of the birders I know - I feel that a bird that has the wit to escape and then survive in the wild is more admirable than one who's been blown off course or navigated badly and probably won't survive for more than a few days.

    1. Hi John, thanks so much for your kind and thoughtful comment. Yes I feel so happy that the vulture was able to fly and be out in the wild. There is always that one person who does not think this way. I am so happy that the other raptors that were injured are being taken care of and have long-term homes now also. There are all kinds of politics on this subject, that I do not care to go into, but in this instance there is such a happy vulture out there with his turkey vulture friends, that you have to give him credit for being able to survive an accident, probably a car ran over him and then he had the strength to get better and get out. What could be better than that.

  2. I often mistake vultures for eagles soaring in the sky. When I'm told differently, I wonder why people think vultures ugly and eagles majestic.

  3. We see a lot of the standard turkey vultures around here, but I never even knew there were black vultures. When flying vultures are both beautiful and impressive. Liked the videos also. The wet hawk didn't look too happy about it, right?
    Great post Nora!

  4. I loved reading every word & enjoyed your photos Nora! Amazing birds...and to read about the probable survival makes it all the better. Thank you so much for adding your link from here to this week's listing at I'd Rather B Birdin'

  5. Such wonderful photos of such a "special" bird!

  6. As a bird-lover ... every bird I come across is a joy to me... never mind if some people find them ugly or whatever ... Love birdshows to... Birds, all animals, for that matter, should be much more appreciated throughout the whole world than that is the case right now. Lets keep up our hopes that one day they will.

    Have a splendid, ♥-warming ABC-WEDNES-day / – week
    ♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ (abc-w-team)

  7. I love our vultures. They clean up our highways.

  8. Oh my John, We humans put so many obstacles in bird's way that migration is a difficult undertaking while we light up the skies, blocking the stars, putting windmills and tall building that take a terrible toll. I think it a bird can survive rehab then it is a very strong animal and deserves to be free again....I do love the vultures even with their less than handsome faces and so necessary in the environment Nora..Michelle

  9. I learn something new every time I read your blog, Nora. Now I want to go to Metchosin. I was there when I was about 17, a transplant from Kelowna to the Lower Mainland (White Rock) and didn't know anything about vultures of any sort except those that appeared in horror stories. Yes, I think they got a bad rep, and I'm happy the people at the raptor centre are helping to change that.
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  10. another raptor - fascinating


  11. Remarkable bird - although I am not sure I would want them in a flock over my house!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  12. Thanks so much for coming and taking the time to comment. I hope to catch up on your blogs soon.


Hi! Thanks so much for visiting my blog on Vancouver Island Nature and Birds. I love to take photos of places we go to on Vancouver Island and the birds and animals we see. I love also to get comments so please leave a note for me. Cheers and thanks again. Nora
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