Some people would call the bird in the above photo a buzzard. Some would call him a vulture. Which term is right?
Well, it depends. This bird is officially called a Turkey Vulture, but in much of North America, you can call him a buzzard and almost everybody will know what kind of bird you’re talking about. However, if you talk to somebody from England and mention a buzzard, he or she might think you’re talking about a completely different bird.
So why do some people refer to vultures as buzzards? According to the Turkey Vulture Society, this probably goes back to the time of the colonists. England has no native vultures, so when the settlers arrived, they may have referred to any large soaring bird as a buzzard. The name stuck for turkey vultures, and now, hundreds of years later, the words “buzzard” and “vulture” are still often used as synonyms in American English.
New Jersey is home to two types of vultures, the black vulture and the turkey vulture.
International Festival of Owls March 4-6
Join us over the next three days as we share owl facts and tips on how you can live an owl friendly life.
Owl fact: Owls can rotate their necks 270 degrees.
Live an Owl Friendly Life: Use traps instead of poison to control mice and rats. Even if you don’t poison these species directly, pesticides can work their way into the food chain. Recent studies have found that 60-80% of all Great Horned Owls have rodent poisons in their bodies!
Beyond the Post: The International Festival of Owls is held every year in early March in Houston, Minnesota to celebrate the “hatch-day” of local celebrity Alice the Great Horned Owl http://www.festivalofowls.com/
Owl Fact: A group of owls is called a parliament. This originates from C.S. Lewis’ description of a meeting of owls in The Chronicles of Narnia.
Live an Owl Friendly Life: Put up owl nest boxes. The type of nesting structure and location are very important. Find out more about providing owl housing at http://internationalowlcenter.org/owls-humans/owlfriendlylife
Beyond the Post: Get the App! Audubon Bird Guide: Owls by National Audubon Society is a fun-filled, interactive guide to the 19 owl species of North America. The app features species descriptions, audio of calls, games, puzzles, quizzes, and videos!
Owl fact: Owls are insanely good hunters, but its stealth, not speed that makes owls such exceptional hunters. Watch to learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a68fIQzaDBY&feature=youtu.be
Live an Owl Friendly Life: Don’t throw your garbage, including food, into ditches. This garbage attracts all kinds of little rodents, which in turn attract things that eat little rodents–like owls. Owls are often hit by cars when they hunt along roadways, killing or injuring them.
Beyond the Post: Check out this cool livestreaming owl nest camera http://cams.allaboutbirds.org/channel/46/Great_Horned_Owls/