Secrets of Nature’s Clean-up Crew: Buzzards
The Very First Time That I Viewed
the black buzzard, I was seven. And the few moments thereafter were some of the scariest, intimidating, and awful sights that I had viewed to yet, this nasty, vicious and yet, very sly assassin of the sky. I never moved. I stood and gazed in awe at this bird with such a wide wingspan that one could easily confuse an eagle with a buzzard. But not really. Eagles are majestic and they rule the skies. Buzzards are cowards. They only consume dead animals of every shape, size, and breed. Buzzards are an equal opportunity source to scouring the earth.
Buzzards are more of a black vulture and more than 800 other species of birds are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 which makes it illegal to kill he birds without a federal permit. If you are going to hunt buzzards, get another place to hunt. I do not know the consequences if one is so stupid as to kill a buzzard, but I would bet that it can be severe.
A law passed to Protect such birds as the Buzzard--all for the ugly, nasty, and cowardly buzzard. Makes you wonder. What about the duckbill platypus?
As I grew older, I became more and more curious about buzzards and what they are all about. Believe me, the data that I found was not glamorous in the least. Just a cold existence, protected by man’s laws, and allowed to kill (sometimes) and devour the carcasses of dead animals which could be their forte. I cannot think of any other reason that the buzzard exists. I know, theologically-speaking, that God, who made everything that was made and without Him nothing was made, that He did make the buzzards. Like them or not. Buzzards DO play an important role in our Eco-System. I am not making this stuff up.
Don't Be Fooled. This Is A Vulture, Not A Buzzard.
Then Came The Day
when my dad yelled for me to get into his truck and go with him to town (Hamilton, Ala.) so he could do his weekly task: purchase groceries for our household. I was excited. Any other time he would have told me to stay at home and take care of my mom, but don’t freak! My mom was, without a doubt, “American’s Strongest Mother,” due to her upbringing that helped her endure several of life’s adversities.
My dad and I were talking away, when suddenly, he turned the truck into the opposite lane and in a flash, I knew why. In the distance in the middle of our lane, was a wake of buzzards, the nasty black kind, who were devouring some dead animal, or what was left of it. Ladies and gentlemen, I have to apologize for going into elaborate detail concerning buzzards. I am serious.
Dad did not stop. He and I just (pardon the pun) trucked along leaving the wake of black buzzards to their business of “cleaning up” what looked to be like a deer that someone had hit with a truck. I counted seven buzzards taking huge bites and I grew to hate these birds more and more as life went by.
I know. The nasty black buzzards could not help looking awful, no more than I can apologize for how I look, so I guess we are even on that call. But that poor deer. I know. It was in Animal Heaven, but the body belonged to the buzzards and I swear to you, that as we drove out of sight, I saw the lead buzzard look at me with a nasty sneer on his beak.
I confess. Thoughts of me diving out of dad’s pickup truck and running back to smack the sorry black buzzard for being so arrogant. Of course that did not happen. I mentioned to you in the beginning of this hub that I shared how the Federal Government stood on people who kill buzzards. This is highly-illegal and no, even if this was not against the law, I still would not kill one. Why? At age five, my parents gave me a B.B.gun for Christmas and I was so proud of it. One day, I went walking with my gun and I happento see this bird on a limb and he was not hurting anyone, and although I really did not mean to, I shot and killed this poor bird.
I begun to weep like a baby who needed feeding. I carried my gun to my mother and told her (between the tears) and I did NOT want my gun anymore and told her why. She told me in a later time that she knew when I told her about the bird that I had been born with a sensitive heart. Even at an adult, I hated to see buzzards eating deceased animals and birds anywhere.
But Friends, There Is
a higher reason why the buzzards eat the dead animals and birds. The dead animals or birds, carry a near-fatal bacteria in their body which if the body is not cleaned up, the bacteria will seep into the earth’s water or air and possibly cause death to the humans who are exposed to it. But the black buzzards are not affected by the dangerous bacteria and the birds are really doing us a big favor by cleaning-up the dead carcasses from the highway or roadside.
Another reason for me to despise buzzards is that they have a hard time for ONE buzzard to attack or eat its prey. Nooooo! Gang Warfare is the name of the game. (Notice the crew of Buzzards in video at the top) and you will share your hatred with these low-life fowls with me. Even the ugly faces are hard to contend with. I know. God is THE Creator and made all things, so He had to make buzzards, and it dawned on me why the ugly mug: when buzzards are cornered, they attack with their sharp talons and that fearful mug sends chills up the scrawny necks of these “nightmares in the sky.”
But with all things considered, buzzards, so far, have left me alone and as long as I keep my right mind, I plan on leaving them alone.
And with that, I think that my previous thought is not too much to ask.
June 29, 2019___________________________________________________
(Also see (this) site for more, deeper information about buzzards.)
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© 2019 Kenneth Avery