Ringmaster Bob Hinkle, chief organizer of the affair, mounts his perch in the pre-dawn hours, often surrounded by dozens of buzzard enthusiasts. They eagerly await the first vulture, and its identity must be confirmed with an official confirmation from Mr. Hinkle. They never fail to spot one of these macabre masters of the air.
Of course, various ignorami have the temerity to report vultures in the vicinity of Hinckley prior to March 15 and Buzzard Day. These bat-blind fools must be looking through fogged up binoculars and using hopelessly smudged and water-stained Sibleys as a reference. Bob Hinkle's research has clearly shown that pre-Buzzard Day "vultures" are Creagles - hybrids between crows and eagles. They do look a bit like buzzards from afar, to those of unsound mind and 20/400 vision.
Anyway, I was at the other end of the state last Saturday, where sighting of pre Ides of March vultures can be legitimate. And I saw some. Reality Check: some could construe the following photos as somewhat gruesome.
A platoon of Turkey Vultures frolicks in a Pike County field. They are making a meal of a road-killed white-tailed deer.