Saturday, September 20, 2014

Turkey Vulture (Urubu à tête rouge) Feeding on Dead Carp

A. E. Crookes Park
Mississauga, ON
18 September 2014

     Driving by this location, I glanced out of the car window and noticed two Turkey Vultures Cathartes aura on the beach, so I turned into the parking lot and walked down to observe. The birds were feeding on a large dead carp in the same location where I had observed an American Herring Gull Larus smithsonianus feeding on identical carrion a few months earlier. Whether carp have some kind of proclivity to beach themselves in this area I have no idea but it seems curious that the same event would repeat itself in the same location. One of the birds flew off almost immediately but the second bird remained to feed.
     I did not have a camera with me, but a young man named David Mew was taking pictures there and he very kindly agreed to email me a few shots. The following pictures are his work, not mine.

     By the time I left there were five Turkey Vultures circling in the air and I had no doubt that the fish would be demolished in short order.
David M. Gascoigne,
David M. Gascoigne,

I'm a life long birder. My interests are birds, nature, reading, books, outdoors, travel, food and wine.


  1. Superb shots,love the second shot.

  2. Photos extraordinaires : ))
    Quel bel appétit !

  3. Hello David,
    Beautiful pictures, made ​​by another David.
    It's a really big carp.
    I wish you a very nice weekend.

  4. Wonderful photos of this bird.
    Best regards, Synnöve

  5. You must have quite frustrated not to have your camera with you!
    Luckily, another David was around!
    The size of the carp is impressive, could there be large enough aquatic predators to menace such a large fish, I wonder?...
    Congratulations for your observation!
    Heaps of hugs from... down here! :)

    1. I don't think they have many predators, Noushka. They are not native to the Great Lakes ecosystem. They originate in Asia and have been released in ships' ballast water. They are a cause for great concern and many efforts are being made to eradicate them or at least prevent their spread.

  6. Photos are beautiful. I really like visit your blog. I feel like travelling. Have a nice day.

  7. Turkey Vulture, they are brilliant. I love them.

  8. Cool captures of the Turkey Vulture.. Have a great day!

  9. Wonderful to see and what a beautiful moment the last photo.
    Greetings Tinie

  10. Your blog is so interesting place to visit. Beautiful photos. Have a nice day.

  11. I was amazed by the size of that Carp, David. Would have fed a whole family of humans - but not in that condition! Well done to 'other David' for the images.

  12. Especially the middle picture with the flying turkey I find beautiful to see. Very nicely done! It is not your picture, but that does not matter;-)


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We acknowledge that the land on which we are situated are the lands traditionally used by the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe, and Neutral People. We also acknowledge the enduring presence and deep traditional knowledge, laws, and philosophies of the Indigenous Peoples with whom we share this land today. We are all treaty people with a responsibility to honour all our relations.