Seen on the Street: Vultures, Galveston Vacancy, Rice Trailer

A few fun pics from around and about town! First, this crowd of black vultures ponders its next real-estate venture from atop a communications tower parked in a gated community in Cypress. Photographer Karen Morris happened upon the scene on Eldridge near Grant Rd.:

It was an awesome sight. Personally, if they adorned my rooftop every evening, I’d clean the roof, sell the house and move to the other side of town. . . . Black Vultures/Buzzards are a bit smaller and less colorful that the Turkey Vulture. They tend to follow the Turkey Vulture because it has a keener sense of smell and can find it’s meal through use of that sense. They eat dead animals and occasionally capture small live animals (field mice, etc.). Although they do not build a nest, they will take an abandoned nest. Often roost together as seen in this set of photos. If startled while roosting, they will regurgitate with power and accuracy.

More local habitat:


Sean Carroll tours this long-abandoned upstairs apartment in a warehouse on the corner of 18th St. and Avenue L in Galveston. The downstairs took in 6 feet of water during Hurricane Ike.

And Paul Villinski’s Emergency Response Studio comes to rest and opens for inspection at Rice:

Photos: Karen Morris (black vultures; license), Sean Carroll (Galveston apartment), Rice University Art Gallery (Emergency Response Studio), Robert Kimberly (Emergency Response Studio interior; license)

2 Comment

  • It doesn’t surprise me so many vultures are in the area. The west side of town is home to prairie and former prairie lands still loaded with field mice and rabbits (particularly young rabbits since the wild adults grow large).

    Human activity probably has made there hunting easier since it has confined the wildlife to certain corridors and remaining pastures. Luckily the field mice and wild rabbit populations are ones that can reproduce quickly. I’m surprised hunting of the wild rabbits in the area isn’t more common. Rabbit is good eating when prepared correctly.

    I guess vultures area similar to squirrels. There species can thrive in human impacted lands.

  • Vultures are pretty cool.
    They have a higher metabolism & lower body-temp than other birds & need more calories, so eat all the time and search for kill in large family groups. That’s why they congregate on one house at a time and, well, crap all over it.
    Vultures are very egalitarian – which may be easy when you have no natural predator.
    They don’t make much oil for their feathers and need to ‘dry out.’ That’s why they do that creepy, wings-outstretched stance up on tall perches in the sun.
    Vultures are Good People – I wish my neighbors were as tidy and responsible!

    I do feel very bad for Galvestonians at this point.
    If only there were drywall, insulation and used motor oil scavengers.