We get a lot of migratory visitors in Florida besides the tourists who come down to lie on the beach and get lost on the Palmetto Expressway. The flock also includes the avian kind, like vultures.
On roofs, treetops and buildings they lurk: dark, foreboding, ravenous.
These are snowbirds, but not the ones you’re familiar with.
They’re vultures on their annual South Florida migration. The nastiest of seasonal visitors, they poop, puke, raise a stink, and tear up property just for kicks. From October to March they soar overhead in lazy circles, aggravate neighborhoods and perch like gargoyles on high-rise buildings.
Once here, the ghoulish critters scavenge for an early-bird special of dead flesh: roadkill, trash, or even fish washed up on beaches. And they’re well-equipped to handle their special diet. They vomit up pellets of unwanted bone and hair, and urinate on their legs to kill any bacteria from traipsing around in rotted carrion. Their bald heads allow them to burrow into carcasses without fear of germs infecting their feathers.
And, if you look very closely at the center of the picture below, you’ll see one that landed in my backyard, along with two others that are out of frame, to look for some lunch today.
They travel light. All they need is a little carrion.