16th March, 2009
The latest addition to The Milky Way team is ‘Bones’, a young American Turkey Vulture who is set to be a big hit in the shows this summer. Bones boasts a six foot wingspan and some ‘unsavoury’ habits!
‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ they say, and for David Rampling our head falconer, it's just as well. She is perhaps not the most attractive of birds but David, it seems, loves her anyway. She came from a Zoo in Wales and flying free is all very new to her. David hopes to wow the crowds with her this summer in his twice daily flying displays, and he has high hopes for the new bird. She is already flying free and even soaring for short periods.
David says, ‘she's learning fast, and using muscles she has never used before. Her bald head blushes red when she sees me, which is actually a sign of affection in Vultures! I hope to get her soaring high for long periods, but her incredible sense of smell, much more powerful than a dog, means that if there is a dead animal within two miles she will smell it and be off!’ This sense of smell is so acute, it has been put to good use by the American authorities, who have trained these Vultures to find gas leaks under the sand in the deserts.
In the mean time, Bones the Vulture has had a fresh start and made a new friend in David.