March 24, 2011 —
It doesn’t sound quite as charming as the swallows that return to Capistrano, CA every year in March, but a similar avian homecoming takes place in Narrowsburg. For at least the past seven years, and perhaps quite a bit longer, a flock of turkey vultures returns to Narrowsburg each spring after spending the winter in warmer surroundings.
A favorite perch of this group is two large trees on Bridge Street in Narrowsburg, just above St. Francis Xavier Church. This photograph was taken shortly after the snow stopped falling on March 21. The birds will remain in the area, often returning to the same perch, until the weather turns colder again in the fall.
These vultures are often seen in a spread-winged stance. The stance is believed to serve multiple functions: drying the wings, warming the body and baking off bacteria. It is practiced more often following damp or rainy nights. The best time to see the buzzards in the trees is the early morning.