VULTURES

I mean the sort with wings.

Before seeing vultures in Botswana, I had a Hollywood inspired idea of vultures as the bad guys of the air, hovering and waiting for the good guy to die in the desert.  Ugly, with their featherless head and neck.

In fact, vultures do hang around, waiting for animals to die, or waiting their turn to feast on a carcass.  But in the air, they look a lot like eagles or other raptors.  They are big, with wing spans up to 2 meters, and soar magnificently.

Here are some photos of vultures, which I saw in Botswana.

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Note the central cluster of young vultures looking at us. probably wondering if we might be dessert.

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The guide told us that the elephant had been dead for about one week, of natural causes. There is no hunting in Botswana. We smelled it long before we could see it.  The stench was huge.

The guide told us that the elephant had been dead for about one week, of natural causes. There is no hunting in Botswana.
We smelled it long before we could see it. The stench was huge.    Then we could see a large moving mound.  As we got closer the movement resolved into dozens are large birds, mostly vultures, but some stork types also.   There were constant landings and take offs of the vultures, and they were truly spectacular.