Jordan Lake Dam, Haw River: As a veterinarian, I have a lively interest in anatomy.  An owl can do a 270° head turn without hurting themselves.  Most birds can get between 180° and about 200° rotation.  I think some birds are just more flexible than others … especially the raptors.  This is a fledgling black vulture, this morning at the dam, doing close to the 270° head turn of an owl.  The series starts at the upper left and goes clockwise.  The photo with the red border is the furthest reach of the turn.  Quite a flexible neck!

Jordan Dam, Haw River: I had seen the black vulture flock come into the parking lot earlier.  They are always looking for left over hotdogs and fried chicken pieces. They are quite adept at taking the lids off the trashcans and helping themselves to the human throw-aways that are inside.  My attention was drawn back to the vultures when I heard the lid of the trashcan hit the pavement.  I started photographing as one of the younger vultures noticed the sign … I could almost hear him thinking, “my friend is stuck in the trashcan, he needs help, and well, just how am I supposed to dial 911 when I don’t have an iPhone?”.  I put my camera down, quietly walked up on the flock, gently tipped the trashcan over on its side freeing the vulture inside of it. The flock chirred their thanks and we watched the embarrassed vulture walk away.  Sometimes, you just never know what will happen at the lake…

JL Neighborhood: Here is 3 minutes of chuckles! I do appreciate vultures. Both for their clean-up activities and their sense of timing that often leads to my laughter. This flock of black vultures decided that my friends and I were nothing scary and began to parade past us by land and by air. At about 20 feet away I got to enjoy the air traffic control patterns.  Oh, and the video is in slo mo and was made on my iPhone. Do keep an eye to the right … and, turn up the volume, please!