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Re: Huh (vultures & storks)

MARY . . .

Believe it or not, some modern taxonomists speculate that--based on 
genetic studies--vultures are much more closely related to storks 
than to hawks and eagles. They're only in the raptor section of bird 
books because of convergent evolution; they superficially resemble 
birds of prey with their hooked beaks and soaring wings.

BTW, my students and I once saw an Anhinga soaring with Black 
Vultures and Turkey Vultures over the York County landfill--also a 
strange sighting because it's so far inland.

Happy Birding!


P.S. Based on the relatedness of storks and vultures, maybe good 
babies are brought by storks and bad babies are actually brought by 


>I saw something this morning that caused me to take a double-take and then
>a triple-take etc, etc.....  Maybe you can explain it to me.
>I saw several vultures and then the sun caught a 'white' bird with them.
>Being on the coast, I did my usual "it's just a gull" routine, but then I
>noticed long legs like a wading bird.  I was ok with that, too, just
>assuming that it was flying past, as opposed to flying with the vultures.
>Then I realized it was flying with the vultures!  I saw them circle
>numerous times together.  This bird clearly appeared to be a Wood Stork
>with its black and white wings, long legs, long neck and beak.  But how can
>this be.  I'll admit that a stork's head is as ugly as a vulture's but what
>in the world do they have in common that they'd be soaring together???
>\\    ~
> \\_(o>
>  (   )        Mary Myers
>  ^ ^   Charleston, SC


"The Piedmont Naturalist"
Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History
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