We're continuing with our tour of Everglades National Park! Portions of the park are inhabited by vultures. And, when I say vultures…I mean LOTS of intimidating, menacing looking feathered creatures. Apparently, they're attracted to the rubber on vehicles and have been known to cause quite a bit of damage. Enough cars have been damaged that the park actually provides complimentary tarps, so you can cover your car and, hopefully, protect it. We saw more ospreys than vultures in this portion of the park, known as Flamingo, and didn't bother using a tarp. The car was safe and sound. Photo bombing my own photo, I snapped a quick pic of this unusual display with my phone, never expecting to use it for SDP.
Then we entered Paurotis Pond. Oh, my goodness -- I felt like Tippi Hedren in 'The Birds'! Yikes! Vultures were everywhere -- roosting in trees, flapping their wings, and swooping down low….very low. While they didn't attack the car, there were so many birds and they seemed so aggressive, the SDP Junior Editor and I didn't feel comfortable leaving the car.
So, I opened the sunroof -- and quickly snapped this photo! Even then, I wondered if the vultures were watching and would plunge into the car. We didn't stay long! Unfortunately, we didn't have an opportunity to talk with a park ranger about our experience…but, apparently, no one really understands the vultures' behavior. I found an interesting 2012 news article on The Weather Channel website talking about the aggressive vultures in the Everglades. You can check it out here. I see vultures at Myakka River State Park, but nothing like this. We'll conclude our Everglades tour tomorrow with more wildlife --- and another creative use of the sunroof (this one documented!). Have a good Sunday!