Vultures and Other Scavengers

Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura) Feeding On Salmon;
Lake Natomas, American River Parkway, Gold River, CA; NOV 2019

In Sacramento, we are privileged to live along the American River. This mighty river is one of many that provide spawning territory for salmon. Spawning is the last great act of these creatures; after they spawn, they die. Though it is the end for them, their death provides nutrients for plants and other animals. When the Salmon run gets underway, migrating Turkey Vultures and Gulls arrive and supplement the year-around population and clean up the carcasses.

Scavenging is not limited to the Salmon carcasses. I’ve also found a Raven with the carcass of a dead bird. Hunting and killing is not normal behavior for the Raven so most likely it found the carcass.

Look closely at the rocks among the vultures. Some of what looks like rocks are part of the carcasses.

Note: Please click on caption to see images at higher resolution.

Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura) Feeding On Salmon;
Lake Natomas, American River Parkway, Gold River, CA; NOV 2019
Western Gull (Larus occidentalis) Picking on Salmon
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; OCT 2019
Common Raven (Corvus corax) with Scavenged Meal;
Willow Creek Recreation Area, Folsom, CA; OCT 2019

These and other images are available to purchase on my website: www.earthwatcher.us or by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

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