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Sunday, September 16, 2012

The only bird here that does a good job of smelling

Turkey Vulture
Almost all birds have a very weak or no sense of smell. The one exception in north Texas is the Turkey Vulture. Through evolution it developed a good sense of smell in order to survive.

Turkey Vulture
The Turkey Vulture's purpose in life is to get rid of carcasses (roadkill, dead animals etc.)    It locates them by smell. Turkey Vultures are so good it that they can locate leaks in natural gas lines (The chemical mercaptan, added to gas, smells similar to rotting flesh). By the way, no kind of vulture has ever been known to attack or kill a healthy animal.


Another evolutionary modification helps it pick apart dead animals. It developed its featherless, macabre-looking, head and neck so it could probe into rotting carcasses without picking up bits of flesh and blood.


 Birds here talk Texan.   In a 'birdy' way.   Identical kinds of birds often sing differently, depending on where they were raised.  For instance a Blue Jay here in north Texas sounds a bit different from one (for instance) from Connecticut.

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