It had been captured in Cañon City after being hit by a car, but although it had some internal injuries and abrasions, it had been doing well, so the staff judged it ready to go. We decided to take it back to its former summer range.
We let it go from an overlook on the Oak Creek Grade, for those readers who know Fremont County, and it was last seen soaring high toward the Royal Gorge — where I know there has been a large vulture roost in the past, although I have not looked lately.
I put on the official Colorado Parks and Wildlife volunteer shirt in case someone stopped and asked, "What have you got there? What's in the carrier? You're not dumping your dog, are you?"
Only one car went by, but did not stop. M. shot the photos.
Meanwhile, the "stargazing owl" from ten days ago did not make it. The vet diagnosed a virus, possibly Newcastle disease. The bird's condition started to deteriorate, and it was euthanized. To be honest, they lose more injured birds than survive, which is why a release is always a happy event.
|Ok, vulture, this is your cue.|
|There goes the turkey vulture. Those are actually dark feathers reflecting light.|
|Turkey vulture taking flight.|
|Gaining altitude over the Oak Creek Grade.|