Friday, March 31, 2023

MendoMoments: A Wake of Vultures Feast on a Carcass

An adolescent Turkey Vulture [Photographs

Alongside the dry bed of Feliz Creek, vultures feasted on the carcass of what could be a fox this morning on the west side of Sanel Valley.

The Audubon Society identifies Mendocino County as a region where Turkey Vultures are common all year around where they will be seen using their keen sense of smell to locate carrion. Turkey Vultures mainly feed on deceased animals, but have been known to eat “decaying vegetable matter, live insects, or live fish in drying-up ponds.”

Vultures are a prime example of the wonderful world of collective nouns within the animal kingdom. As per, a group of vultures while perched in a tree can be called a “committee,” a “venue,” or sometimes a “volt.” When vultures are feeding on a carcass, they are referred to as a “wake.”

MendoFever’s newest column, MendoMoments, is dedicated to showcasing the land, animals, and people that make up Mendocino County. All Mendocino County residents and visitors are invited to participate. Send photographs to including a description of what your photograph depicts, where it was taken, and any other important details.

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  1. When they circle high it is called a kettle. All pathogens end with the vulture, plague, small pox, Ebola. They are natures true garbage service. Dicolfenac caused the extinction event in India that currently has the worst rabies epidemic in world history. Dogs and rats doing the job vultures used to handle.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFever
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at if you know a story that needs to be told.

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