Sometimes a symbol of indolence, greed and decay, the Turkey Vulture also embodies rebirth, transformation and grace. This is a tough species that enjoys the largest breeding range of any bird in the New World, thanks to fascinating adaptations that allow it to thrive in almost every habitat from forest to coast, farmland, desert and city. How they do that is a fascinating lesson in natural history, and the interrelationships between lifestyle, anatomy, physiology and behavior: stuff you can see right here at home.
Mike and Lisa will discuss all this, their own research on Wisconsin Turkey Vultures, and give you a close-up visit with Uncle Butzie, their non-releasable, 20-year-old Turkey Vulture!
Mike Mossman fell in love with Turkey Vultures as a high school student in the 1960s, and they were the subject of his first wildlife study. Mike recently retired after 35 years as a DNR ecologist.
Mike and Lisa’s first dates were visiting vulture nests in the Baraboo Hills!
Lisa Hartman jumped at the chance to search for Turkey Vulture nests in the Baraboo Hills the instant Mike Mossman invited her, back in 1983. From this she developed a deep love for these birds, their adaptations, and the cryptic situations in which they nest. Raising non-releaseable Uncle Butzie, the Turkey Vulture, and introducing him to audiences of all ages, has helped win people over to appreciate and understand these fascinating birds.