Two frozen turkey vultures felt out of the Sioux Falls, South Dakota skies on Tuesday night, according to a local news source, the Argus Leader. Adam Weber, a Sioux Falls pastor, said that one of the birds fell on the roof and is apparently dead.
The second bird fell onto his deck, where he could see its iced-over wings. Weber said that he called Animal Control, which reportedly said that there were other downed vultures on the ground and that there wasn’t much they could do about it.
Turkey Vultures, the most migratory of the New World vulture species, usually know better than to hang around in icy South Dakota during blizzard, sleet, and snow season, but hey. It’s April. The unlucky frozen vultures probably expected to find better weather up there by now.
Sure, the early bird may get the worm or the better nest territory, but it might also get the iced-over wings.
In decent weather, the turkey vulture is actually one of the most amazing travelers. The further north the bird breeds, the further south it tends to migrate for the winter. For example, the Vulture Society noted that British Columbia, Canada breeders may fly to Venezuela for the winter.
If you pick strategic spots to watch for them along the fall migration routes, such as the Panama Canal Zone in the nation of Panama or the state of Veracruz in Mexico, you can sometimes see hundreds if not thousands of them flying together at the same time.
As for the Sioux Falls bird? Weber allowed it to spend time recovering on his deck, where it took shelter under a table. The story seems to have had a happy ending. Once its wings warmed up, the turkey vulture apparently slipped away in the night.
And it probably wasn’t the only frozen turkey vulture out there:
This Turkey Vulture has been sitting here since last night. I think it’s wings are frozen?? twitter.com/ParAnderson/st…
— Par Anderson (@ParAnderson) April 10, 2013
i told my mom if a frozen turkey vulture falls out of the sky at our house she has to bring it inside to let it warm up and :
— october (@octoberxrose) April 11, 2013
Call me a big softie, but I agree. Would you open your home to a frozen turkey vulture?
[turkey vulture photo by Charles J. Sharp via Wikipedia Commons]