By Dottie Dewberry
For the WPT
MABEN — Years ago back when I taught young kids the rules and
regulations of the English language; I covered a number of styles of
poems. One such poem style was the Haiku: that would be an English
version of a Japanese-style poem with three lines of 5, 7, 5
syllables. Anyway, long story short, I illustrated that you could
write a Haiku about anything, even buzzards,
Looking for some rotten food,
Man, this stuff tastes good.
Anyway, that was some time ago. In any case, this is the season for
buzzards to mate. So be on the lookout for buzzards looking for a
home: in pastures, grasslands and wetlands. A home is most commonly
found in relatively open areas that provide nearby woods for nesting,
and it generally avoids heavily forested areas.
Not that I was looking, but a few days ago I spied two up in a tree
near the house, so I took some pictures. They were probably just
looking for a place to lay an egg or two and not necessarily in a
nest that we might imagine.
There is little or no construction of a nest, just any old place will
do; such as, a cliff, a cave, a rock crevice, a burrow, inside a
hollow tree or in a thicket.
Eggs are laid on a bare surface. Females generally lay two eggs, but
sometimes one and rarely three. The eggs are cream-colored, with
brown or lavender spots around their larger end.
Both parents incubate, and the young hatch after 30 to 40 days.
Chicks are helpless at birth. Both adults feed the chicks by
regurgitating food for them, and care for them for 10 to 11 weeks.
When adults are threatened while nesting, they may flee, or they may
regurgitate on the intruder or feign death. If the chicks are
threatened in the nest, they defend themselves by hissing and
Now all of that to say this: In Maben, according to Allen Fulgham, in
the attic of the old Fitch house across the street from the Scrivener
house, two buzzards have been seen checking out the place to set up
housekeeping. They are currently making frequent trips to and from
the exposed attic roof. If they have nested there, then keep your
eyes peeled for baby buzzards in about 40 days.
The turkey vulture species receives special legal protections under
the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 in the United States, by the
Convention for the Protection of Migratory Birds in Canada, and by
the Convention for the Protection of Migratory Birds and Game Mammals
in Mexico. In the USA it is illegal to take, kill or possess turkey
vultures, and violation of the law is punishable by a fine of up to
$15,000 and imprisonment of up to six months.