If you’ve lived in a city all your life you probably think of buzzards differently than country people do. Living on a farm has taught me to appreciate these horridly ugly birds.
Buzzards, along with coyotes, maggots and miscellaneous insects, are nature’s clean up crew. Without them our world would be one stinking mess.
As cattle ranchers The Rock and I have produced more than our fair share of buzzard food.
Our cattle raising knowledge was hard-earned, on the job. And I’m ashamed to admit that many cows, calves and steers valiantly gave their lives to help us gain that knowledge. May they rest in peace.
We were always grateful, and amazed, that nothing went to waste when we killed a poor cow with our ignorance.
About four years into raising cattle we discovered the ugly side of the buzzard world. I know what you’re thinking. “Is there any other kind?”
We learned – the hard way – that there are two types of buzzards. Ugly buzzards and ugly buzzards with dark, evil, empty, ugly souls.
Turkey Buzzards are the good guys. Ugly, yes, but they’re just doing their job, cleaning up carcasses after living things become nonliving things.
Then there are Black Buzzards. The bad guys. Lazy, opportunistic bullying thieves with heartless black souls. They all need to be shot.
Before you start thinking I’m all heartless and stuff, keep reading. But remember, I warned you up there in the title.
Black Buzzards don’t actually look for food. They look for Turkey Buzzards eating food. Then they get their Black Buzzard buddies together, gang up on the Turkey Buzzard, chase it away and voila! Dinner is served.
So that behavior explains why I called them lazy, opportunistic, bullying thieves. Now for the heartless black soul part.
Turkey buzzards eat dead things. Only dead things. You can tell where I’m going with this, can’tcha?
Food doesn’t have to actually be dead for Black Buzzards to eat it. Just accessible. And unable to defend itself or run away.
Like our downed steer whose rectum was eaten while he lay there helplessly unable to do anything about it. That was the day The Rock began to officially hate Black Buzzards.
The last straw for him was the day a flock of those stone-hearted birds discovered a heifer we’d been slowing nursing back to health.
She was getting stronger each day, but she couldn’t get up on her feet. She couldn’t get away or fight off the Black Buzzards. So they ate her tongue.
We’re pretty sure her eyes would have been next on the buffet if we hadn’t discovered them.
The Rock had to put the poor heifer out of her misery. Having to shoot her in the head affected him deeply. So he made himself feel better by unloading his pistol into a Black Buzzard he saw lurking nearby.
The next few days he hid in the barn with a rifle and picked off Black Buzzards sitting in trees around the corrals. Watching the pile of dead buzzards grow larger and higher made him feel even better.
He had to stop at about 18 because it turns out Black Buzzards are pretty smart. They stopped coming around.
Never being one to deprive buzzards and coyotes of food he left the pile of Black Buzzards for them.
And the strangest thing happened. Actually what didn’t happen was the strange thing.
Nothing ate those dead Black Buzzards. Months later they were still laying there uneaten, unmolested, undisturbed.
Turns out Black Buzzards are so horridly nasty and evil that even other buzzards, Black and Turkey types, refuse to eat them.
The Rock said even the flies refused to get near them.
If you don’t live in the country see what you’ve been missing?
Black Buzzard photo credit: princer7
Turkey Buzzard photo credit: MandyJo Photo
Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.
You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.