A Conversation for The Buzzards of Hinckley, Ohio, USA

Saw the first one of 2008 the other day

Post 1


In the last week of Feburary I saw the first few buzzards headed north to Hinckley, Ohio. I live in one of their flyways here in southern Ohio and would like to make it clear that these birds fly in circles most of their day. They don't fly a straight course or in formation like geese or so many other wayfaring birds. I can just about mark my calendar each year by their presence as they return from the Gulf Coast area and set my clocks foreward an hour.

Similarly as they migrate south again in the fall they circle around overhead studying each and every inch of the ground judiciously to assure they are on the proper course. One circled overhead watching me prune my fruit trees with the greatest curiosity. Some of us may already know of the strange names animals in a group are referred to, such as a group of rabbits being called a warren, a group of geese called a gaggle when on the ground and a wedge when flying in V formation or even skein when flying about at random. But the Buzzards who fly around in circles are called a committee. Believe me their migration is definately a concerted effort which leaves me wondering how they ever get where they are going.

It wasn't until a few years ago that they flew overhead all winter with snow on the ground and winter storms that they really challenged my comprehension of wildlife. What's wrong with those birds, I would ask the old folks around my area. None of them had a plausable answer as they hadn't seen this behavior before. I called the county agricultural extension agent and spoke with him about it and even the television station weatherman was talking about the buzzards that wouldn't go home for the winter.

This was in the fall of 2004 and many of the buzzards just chose to winter over
here in the Ohio Valley instead of going further south. In time they went back north to Hinckley again from here. They were late returning again at summers end too presumably because by August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina was devistating much of the Southern states here in the USA. It didn't take long before people were recalling the strange behavior of the buzzards and concluding that they knew something long before the meteroligist.

So I've concluded that if I don't see the buzzards when I should expect to that I may want to take a heads up from these amazing creatures and keep my own eyes and ears open to the weather conditions around me.

Saw the first one of 2008 the other day

Post 2


The locals tell me that there is a buzzard rookery nearby (along the Little Miami River in Warren County, Ohio), but I don't know if any of the birds spend the winter there. Wouldn't surprise me, though. I, too, have been keeping my eyes peeled to see if I spot any buzzards heading north, but so far no luck. I thought that last weekend's blizzard may have delayed their return a few days; it certainly hasn't been very spring-like around here lately.

Aside from captive buzzards who were being rehabbed at area parks, the only wild ones I've seen have been along the sides of the interstates where they've come across roadkill. And one dropped out of the skies into the middle of the road leading from the Cinci/N. KY airport, right in front of my car! Of course I stopped to watch, and nearly caused an accident...

A committee, huh? How appropriate. smiley - winkeye

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Saw the first one of 2008 the other day

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