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Vulture Sadness

The two vulture chicks have died; we're not sure how.

We noticed this past week that the vultures were agitated, and were either chasing off an interloper, or fighting between themselves.  It was impossible to tell.  The chicks hatched on Wednesday evening/Thursday morning, and one was dead pretty much out of the shell.  I couldn't tell whether the adult vulture had tried to help it out of its shell and it was too damaged to survive, or whether it had died shortly after hatching.  As far as I could tell, there were no signs of violence.  The second chick was dead this morning, also with no signs of violence.

I honestly don't know what's going on, but one vulture (I don't know if it was one of ours or not, since ours are not banded, and all vultures look the same) was trying to get in to the coop, and the other vulture was chasing it off.  There was a lot of hissing, growling, and jumping at each other with feathers flying.

I have never seen this behaviour before, and I desperately hope that our couple aren't mad at each other.  We saw two vultures up in one of the trees, and they were grooming each other gently, so I hope this is our couple, and that they'll lay a second clutch (vultures will lay a second pair of eggs if the first ones come to harm).  I tried to stay out of it, including not trying to rescue the second chick.  I'm not a wildlife rehabilitator, and other than loving our pair, I have no experience with vulture care.  The natural order of things has to be held to, even if it's distressing.

Hopefully, now this sad episode is over, things will be all right again.

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Comments

theodorad
Apr. 28th, 2013 01:44 pm (UTC)
Oh, no. I am sad for the chicken coop vultures of Beddingfield Farm. But, you have the right of it: "The natural order of things has to be held to, even if it's distressing."

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