[Taxacom] Airplane vs. turkey vultures

Robin Leech releech at telusplanet.net
Thu Aug 23 09:08:03 CDT 2007

Hi Ken,

One of the reasons the birds did not move till almost too late is that they
do not have a size perception.  And it may have been the noise that made
them move, not size.

This is one of the reasons that huge goose decoys work - ones so large
that 2 guys can hide in them, then burst out to shoot at approaching geese.

In Canada, all planes flying 10,000 feet or less (I think that that is the 
have to fly with lights on.  Birds will move out of the way of a light on a 
while flying, but apparently they do not do so for a plane without a light.

I believe the US has yet to enact a similar law to that imposed in Canada.
Having the lights on for airplanes has drastically reduced bird-plane 


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ken Kinman" <kinman at hotmail.com>
To: <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, August 22, 2007 10:11 PM
Subject: [Taxacom] Airplane vs. turkey vultures

> Dear All,
> I was watching three of our resident (summer) turkey vultures circling
> around this morning, and then an airplane (not a jet) passed overhead
> straight toward the turkey vultures. The vultures were at that moment
> gliding south into the wind, and the airplane was going south southeast
> towards the Hays (Kansas) airport. I don't know if they could hear the
> airplane approaching since it was down-wind from them and coming up behind
> them, but just as it was almost on top of them the closest vulture took a
> quick nose-dive. I'd say the airplane was about 30 feet above it 
> (otherwise
> it would have been a direct hit). ANYWAY, it makes me wonder if 
> slow-flying
> airplanes (not jets) which hit vultures are usually coming at them from
> behind (like this one) or head-on.
> -----Ken Kinman
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