This immature buzzard was minding its own business Sunday evening as I walked closer and closer.
It came to attention as I approached the base of the tree along the BN&SF tracks where it was perched.
We continued to survey each other for a minute, then it dropped into the cavity where its nest mate was waiting.
I've been watching the buzzards (or turkey vultures) circle the back yard all summer, swooping down from the roof of the big house mid-block to the northeast, then sailing off to the southeast. An omen? Well, probably not.
Out for a walk in the neighborhood with the camera Sunday evening chasing something else, I followed the stub of a street along the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe tracks that becomes the Ryuns' driveway and kind of accidentally ended up in their back yard.
John called me over and pointed to the remains of a once-mighty maple tree right along the tracks, one huge limb of which had fallen onto the roof of a garden shed during one of the multiple storms we've had this summer.
And there was the buzzard --- immature (it's head still is black rather than red) and it can't fly quite yet, although it's testing its wings daily, John said.
I surveyed the buzzard and walked closer. It surveyed me and came to attention. We looked at each other for a while and then it dropped into the nest cavity in the fallen limb, which the Ruyans had thoughtfully left in place on the roof of their shed until the family reached maturity. It's sibling was waiting inside.
Before long, the baby buzzards will fly away and the Ruyans can get on with the cleanup. But for now, it's interesting to have buzzards as neighbors. None of us could remember buzzards nesting in town before, odd we thought because of all the timber surrounding us. But wonders never cease.