Resident “Vulture-ologists” at Boyce Thompson Arboretum have been counting the birds – and reports at least 50 turkey vultures are gathered for the annual “Bye Bye Buzzards” celebration of ornithology on Sept. 26 (Saturday).
Boyce Thompson Arboretum opens at 7 a.m. that morning — an hour earlier than usual so visitors have a chance to see the Turkey Vultures perched on Magma Ridge.
Although wildlife can be unpredictable, usually the resident birds take to the skies by 8:00 or 8:30 a.m. and circle overhead and away to roam and forage for the rest of the day.
A guided bird walk follows at 8:30 a.m. with ASU Prof. Dave Pearson and Arizona Audubon’s Cathy Wise (co-author of the state breeding bird atlas) sharing their birding skills and extensive knowledge with visitors on a two- hour bird walk.
Even if you arrive too late to view the feral vultures, you’ll still see a real, live turkey vulture up close and personal from about 8:00 am til 2:00 pm, thanks to Arizona Game & Fish Department wildlife rehab volunteers who bring “Ed the Education Turkey Vulture” and other charismatic critters to Boyce Thompson Arboretum for this event.
Bring your camera, it’s a rare opportunity to see and photograph hawks, owls and other critters close-up.
(Boyce Thompson Arboretum photo used with permission)