Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The buzzards of Lake Jackson

The annual Migration Celebration just concluded down here, and local press accounts say it was a rousing success.

Lake Jackson takes great pride in being located on the so-called "flyway" of migratory birds, and it has been said, though we have seen no verified proof of this, that Lake Jackson has more species of birds than just about anywhere.

Despite the city's money-losing project to carve a municipal golf course out of the a portion of the dense woodlands that provide a valuable resting stop for songbirds that fly over the Gulf of Mexico on their annual migration, there's still a good amount of cover for our feathered friends.

This is a good thing, and while we still wonder exactly how much cha-ching that the so-called "ecotourism" brings to our petrochemical-based economy, we like looking at birds and feeding them and such as that.

Be that as it may, it seems that the local populace's fascination with birds provides little recognition for the noble buzzard -- or vulture, if you prefer.

Man, they're everywhere.

The two pictured here like to sit on the fence outside the worldwide headquarters of Buc-ee's convenience stores, which sits on Farm-to-Market 2004, next to the Family Fitness Center.

They show up there practically every morning to check what speeding pickups traveling through the night may have left them to eat. With a dense patch of woods across the roadway, leading all the way down to Bastrop Bayou, there are any number of varmints that are liable to wander across the road during the dark hours and be run over by a drunken petrochemical worker.

Possums, racoons, armadillos, an occassional squirrel, stray dogs and cats. You'll see deer out by FM 2004, too, sometimes during the night, but I've never seen a deer carcass the next morning. They're pretty quick. Armadillos, they're not so quick.

Anyhow, the buzzards around here do a fine job of eating the roadkill. They leave very little for the earth to slowly reclaim, although they do not appear to ingest much of the the fur on the occassional possum left by the roadway.

Around here, there appear to be two kinds of vultures: Black vultures, like the ones sitting outside Buc-ee's world H.Q., and turkey vultures, which have a red head, like turkeys have.

Wanna see what the vultures in front of Buc-ee's were munching on? If the answer is yes, click the photoblog.

[the local paper]

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Anonymous said...

I think that's Beaver and Wasik.


Banjo Jones said...

I set you up for that one, didn't I?