A Turkey Vulture in my driveway In the Horaltic Pose

I know this doesn’t have anything to do with a horse… but it did happen in my driveway, which leads to my horses, so maybe that is close enough.

OK so I was driving down my driveway to run errands, and I saw this turkey vulture.

Can you see him on the pole at the end of my driveway?


He was doing this…

He was doing this…


We’ve been here almost 5 years and I have never seen a turkey vulture do this.  So I drove very slowly so I could get a better photo.

I determined that his back was to me… he was missing a few feathers, and he was very contented for me to not go any faster – and he’d stay there.


At the end of my driveway, I creeped just a bit further and leaned out my passenger side window.

He was looking right at me.


We have turkey vultures and black vultures here.  They do a great job of cleaning up the very tragic daily roadkill of rabbits and squirrels (people drive too fast).  They live here.  We all see them all day, every day.

But I had never seen one posing like this previously.

So, I looked up why a vulture would perch like this for an uncomfortably long time… and found out it had a name.  The Horaltic Pose.

He/She was looking over his right shoulder, his back facing me.

Scientists really have no idea the true reason, but they speculate it is to dry feathers after cold, damp nights… or to make parasites run to concentrated areas to then be picked off… or it is to kill bacteria on their bodies by exposing them to extreme sunlight.

In any event, it was wonderful to witness.  I felt so small and he/she appeared so regal.


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Only one comment so far...

  1. Rox

    He was probably just enjoying the foot buzz from the power pole. Reflexology for cathartidae.

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