Bones, the 'ugly' vulture finds love at The Milky Way

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, they say, and for David Rampling, head falconer at the North Devon Bird of Prey Centre at the Milky Way Adventure Park, it's just as well. The newest arrival at his centre is a North American Turkey Vulture called Bo

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, they say, and for David Rampling, head falconer at the North Devon Bird of Prey Centre at the Milky Way Adventure Park, it's just as well. The newest arrival at his centre is a North American Turkey Vulture called Bones, who is perhaps not the most attractive of birds. However, David it seems, loves her anyway and the feeling appears to be mutual, as Bones has taken quite a shine to David, too! David said: "her bald head blushes red when she sees me, which is actually a very good sign as it shows she has accepted me. "She's quite unlike any of my other birds as she is very affectionate. She even follows me around like a dog and tucks her bald head in my hands and falls asleep! She's a real character, and has become something of a pet." Bones came from a Zoo in Wales and so flying free is all very new to her. She is having to learn to use muscles she has never used before, but she is learning fast and is already soaring for short periods.David hopes to wow the crowds with her this summer in his twice-daily flying displays at The Milky Way, and is currently working on getting her soaring high for longer periods of time each day. However, her incredible sense of smell, much more powerful than a dog's, means that if there is a dead animal within two miles she will smell it and be off! This sense of smell is so acute that it has been put to good use by the American authorities, who have trained these vultures to find gas leaks under the sand in the deserts.In the meantime it seems Bones the Vulture is enjoying stretching her wings in the fresh Devon air and couldn't be happier with her new friend, David.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter