Vultures return to area

REED CITY — When a call was received last year about the buzzards on Todd Street, it was with a grin that it was checked out. It was true. Some say the birds with a huge wingspan and Halloween mask face are turkey buzzards, while others claim they are vultures or turkey vultures.

The real question is, who would care to catch one and ask?

A year ago when they perched in the trees near Ken and Sally Andrews home on Todd in Reed City, cars lined the street many nights, and neighbors walked up their way to catch a glimpse.

They circled and circled beginning about half an hour before darkness set in, then went off in another direction where they perched for the night. Both the birds and the curious, actually.

The Andrews had a sitting spot inside their home where they could watch the antics of the high-flying, fast-moving creatures, in warmth, and with much curiosity. They wondered why they picked their property, and why they only stayed around for a couple days, then moved on.

The weather when they arrived last year was extremely frigid, and this year it wasn’t much better a week ago, when the birds with the huge wing spans, and the crumpled-looking reddish faces showed up. One man suggested they were frostbitten, but again, no one planned to get close enough to examine one.

This year they seemed much calmer with the one person who ventured out to see them again. They floated about a bit, practiced landings and take-offs, then glided down and around getting a good close look at that tall object sporting a flashing thingamabobber to take their pictures.

It was impossible to tell if they were smiling, but undoubtedly when they came a bit too close and stretched those wings, looking very much as though they could wrap one up and tote you away, they probably laughed a bit at the response.

This time, they hung around in spite of the curious person wandering about. They did not go off hunting for another place to roost for the night, but seemed settled in as darkness covered them. And they probably giggled just a tad as the person below headed for a nearby car, repeatedly glancing over a shoulder to be sure none of them was following along or hovering just overhead.

Others have reported seeing the interesting birds more often in the area. Some have said they have a dining area south of Reed City where a number of deer carcasses are lining the shoulder of the freeway, and still others report they have seen them perch on a neighbor’s roof at dark.

Another picture another day. Or night. Or not.