[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Vulture vs Martins


Yes, vultures hung out on the market in 18th and 19th
century Charleston, near where the butcher sold his meat.
They were such a fixture down there that they were called "Charleston
Eagles". Both vulture species are still quite commonly seen all over
metropolitan Charleston, feeding
on roadkilled deer, dogs, and such where they can.
They do not feed at the market, since the butcher went
indoors years ago.

Looking back with pride,
Steve Compton
Summerville,SC (near Charleston)
formerly Licensed Tour guide
City of Charleston
----- Original Message -----
From: "John Fussell" <jfuss@clis.com>
To: <carolinabirds@duke.edu>; "Maginnis" <maginnis@knology.net>
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2002 4:58 PM
Subject: Re: Vulture vs Martins

> In regard to whether Purple Martins will go after large birds:
> Actually, this is probably the reason--ultimately--that we
> today put up nesting structures for martins.  John Lawson,
> in A New Voyage to Carolina, 1709 stated that
> "The Planters put Gourds on standing Poles, on purpose
> for these Fowl [Purple Martins] to build in, because they are
> a very Warlike Bird, and beat the Crows from the Plantations."
> The early Europeans were doing what the Indians before
> them had done.  And people today continue the tradition.
> By the way, neither the Indians or the early
> Europeans likely subscribed to the largely erroneous belief
> that martins are an important predator of mosquitoes.
> Of course, it's nice to think that the Indians and early Europeans
> just liked having the martins around.  They certainly are
> pleasant company. ( I remember when, as a child, being
> awakened on summer mornings by the happy chatter of martins.)
> As to whether vultures will come close to suburban yards:
> I'm sure most of you have seen old pictures of vultures walking
> around in cities and towns like Ring-billed Gulls--think they still
> do this in Central America, and perhaps they still do this regularly
> at some places in the U.S.  The old Birds of America (T. Gilbert
> Pearson)
> has a photo of Black Vultures walking in the streets of Charleston.
> (early in the 19th century I guess).
> John Fussell
> Morehead City, NC
> jfuss@clis.com
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Maginnis <maginnis@knology.net>
> To: <carolinabirds@duke.edu>
> Sent: Sunday, June 09, 2002 3:28 PM
> Subject: Vulture vs Martins
> > Greetings,
> >
> > It was 11 years ago that I put up my purple martin apartment. During
> that
> > time it was never occupied either by martins or sparrows or any other
> > thing. This year I was encouraged when I saw a couple of martins
> returning
> > to the roof of the apt. house each evening over a period of  a few
> weeks,
> > but still remained skeptical. On Mothers Day morning,  my son and I
> saw the
> > first signs of nest building. By that time there were 6 martins.  They
> are
> > now fully established and every morning and evening the air is filled
> with
> > their chatter. About 2 weeks ago I heard them making an awful noise
> instead
> > of the usual chatter. On the roof of the apt. house was a young
> grackle
> > surrounded by squawking purple martins. The poor grackle finally got
> the
> > message and took off for a neighboring pine tree with at least one
> purple
> > martin chasing it.
> >
> > Last night my 2 cardigan corgis caught a baby raccoon. Thankfully they
> > hadn't tried to eat it, but it was very dead. Without giving it a
> thought,
> > I flung the raccoon over the fence and into the marsh to let nature
> take
> > care of it.
> > Turkey vultures are not strangers in my area.Today sitting at the
> computer
> > on the second floor overlooking the marsh and martin house, I have
> seen one
> > circling and flying low. The vulture seemed to pass over the area
> where I
> > had thrown the raccoon. A couple of purple martins even chased it, but
> it
> > came back later. Do martins usually go after something so much bigger
> than
> > themselves? I assume they are trying to protect their nest.
> > Tell me, can a vulture see something as small as a baby raccoon in
> marsh
> > grass?? If it has seen it will it try to get to it and eat it even if
> it is
> > fairly close to a suburban backyard?
> >
> > Gail
> > Charleston,SC
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > ---
> > [This E-mail scanned for viruses by Cape Lookout Mail Server]
> >
> >
> ---
> [This E-mail scanned for viruses by Cape Lookout Mail Server]