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At 10:53 AM -0500 3/22/07, jane wrote:
>I've seen this a couple times at tree roosts early in the morning. 
>Very spooky sight
>with a dozen TVs sitting there like that.  Presumably, they do it to 
>warm up, but why
>they do it and most other birds don't, I don't know.  Seems a 
>sensible way to begin the
>day...

Do a google search for the phrase  "turkey vulture wing spreading 
behavior" and click on the first link-- you'll find this article:

http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0010-5422%28198508%2987%3A3%3C350%3ASPOTVS%3E2.0.CO%3B2-Q&size=LARGE

Spread-Winged Posture of Turkey Vultures: Single or Multiple Function?
Robert G. Clark, Robert D. Ohmart
The Condor, Vol. 87, No. 3 (Aug., 1985), pp. 350-355

It's got lots of cool information about this.  Here's part of the abstract:

	...Turkey Vultures appear to spread their wings for at least
	two reasons: (1) to dry feathers, and (2) to ameliorate the
	thermal gradient between themselves and their environment,
	although the two functions are not mutually exclusive.
	Spreading the wings to realign feathers or to increase the
	mobility of ectoparasites seems unlikely.

Who knew (other than those crazy scientists)?

--julie
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