The cold January weather and the unusual snow cover must have generated some grazing obstacles for our birds, and the traffic in our back yard has been as unusual as the weather. I’ve seen a wood stork, several merganser ducks, chickadees, cardinals, blue jays, bluebirds, the ever-present mockingbirds, and a turkey vulture.
The vulture was the most surprising of all since this visitor landed on the other side of the lagoon and then walked around to our back yard. Turkey vultures and black vultures are not at all uncommon here (in fact, some residents have proposed that they be the official bird of Sun City), but they are mostly flying and I’ve not seen one grazing this far on foot in the past. I was afforded a close-up view from our sun room as the bird didn’t seem at all disturbed that I took photos from various angles to get the best shot.
The mockingbirds claim ownership of everything around here, particularly the tree with berries outside our breakfast nook. This guy is taking a drink at our birdbath while keeping a watchful eye over the shoulder for intruders who need to be chased away.