Update To What’s That Lurking In My Barn

watermarked buzzard pair

Back on May 20th I posted an article, , about my experience of finding a baby buzzard in my old barn. As tempted as I was, I did not go back into the barn because I didn’t want to disturb him. I’m going to call this critter a him, although I don’t have the slightest idea if it’s male or female. It wasn’t long I started seeing what appeared to be a younger buzzard hanging around with an older one – maybe the mother buzzard? It’s been interesting to see that both of them will perch on top of my house, and will sit on the patio outside my bedroom window. The older one tends to be a little more cautious. The younger one, which I believe to be the hatching pictured in my earlier article isn’t all that shy – he seems pretty curious.

If you’re wondering why I think the one on the right is the younger, from what I’ve been able to find on the internet (Google is your friend) younger buzzards, or vultures have smoother skin on their faces and heads, and their beaks are darker.

I was able to snap several photos of both sitting on top of the barn before the older one flew off to land in a tree a little distance away. The younger one seemed to enjoy the photo shoot. Once I turned around and walked away he flew off and landed in the tree occupied by the other one. His flying seems a little shaky still.

On the day I took this picture, I had cut my grass earlier. I’ve cut it multiple times since I discovered the baby buzzard so the noise wasn’t something completely new to him. That day, however, something different happened. As I approached the barn, a dark shape came hurtling, literally out of the window and very clumsily landed on the ground not far in front of me. The time he hit the ground he took off running, not flying, running, and ran into the breezeway of the barn. Then he just sat there and watched me. I got a good laugh at his expense – I have to say, a buzzard running is quite a comical sight to see. Still you would have thought he would have run away from the sound, not towards it.

I’ve really enjoyed the little I’ve been able to see of this bird growing up. I’ve gotten to see the older one take the younger one to feast on a rabbit run over in the road – shooing him out of the road when a vehicle came by. I wish these were turkey vultures instread of the black ones, though. Turkey vultures have red heads and are more shy. Black headed buzzards are reputed to be much more aggressive and have been known to kill baby animals. As much as I hate to do it, once I’m sure this fellow is old enough to “run with the pack” I think I will put wire over the window to keep them out. A few aren’t likely to be a bad problem but they may have friends and relatives move in.

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