Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Nature's Calling -- Turkey Vultures, Winter Bird Feeding, Wild Affection (Feb 2020)

Difficulty: 0

Welcome to this months natures calling, Im Lucas Bond with the Missouri Department

of Conservation.

While youre outside enjoying a nice winter hike, take some time and look to the skies

and learn more about one of natures scavengers, the vulture.

Vultures differ from other raptors.

They rarely hunt prey, and instead live primarily on dead animals.

Two species of vultures are common in Missouri, the turkey vulture and black vulture.

Contrary to popular belief, circling vultures do not necessarily indicate the presence of

a dead animal.

Leah: Vultures will fly in a spiral.

Theyre using the rising warm air currents which rise in a spiral.

They are very efficient.

They dont want to waste a lot of energy, so they use that spiral to get up into the

air so they can hunt for food.

But they will also use it in the evening to slowly come back down to their roost sites.

Vultures are masters at soaring flight.

In fact, flying turkey vultures use only slightly more energy than when standing on the ground

doing nothing.

You can learn more about these birds at MDCs annual Vulture Venture event held in late

February at Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery Visitor Center in Branson.

The winter weather can make finding food for animals difficult, especially for birds.

So, this winter why not help them out, by hanging a bird feeder and inviting our feather

friends to a feast.

One and half million Missourians enjoy bird feeding.

Even on the dreariest days, watching a bird enjoy a meal can bring a little color into

a cold winter day.

Jordi: In winter, it can be really hard for birds to find food.

With ice and snow, it can be very difficult.

So instead, adding that little bit of extra food helps them survive.

And its a great way for us to get out and see birds in our own yard and discover nature.

Its easy to get started.

Bird feeding stations may be as simple as seed placed on the ground or as complicated

as a feeder made for a specific species.

Can you feel it?

Love is in the air this month.

Not with just us humans, this month is a very popular month for some little critters to

begin mating.

Early February marks the beginning breeding season for opossums.

Once the opossum is pregnant the gestation only lasts 12 to 13 days.

Most litters are born by the end of February.

Opossums can be found throughout the state.

The barred owl is another animal that begins courtship and breeding in February.

Two or three white, round eggs are usually laid.

Incubation lasts 28 days, and the owlets are reared for 42 days.

The barred owl is known for its hooting call which sounds like: “Who cooks for you?

Who cooks for you-all

Learn more about vultures, bird feeding, opossums, and barred owls at

Thanks for watching and remember Natures Calling.

Get out and enjoy Missouris outdoors.

The Description of Nature's Calling -- Turkey Vultures, Winter Bird Feeding, Wild Affection (Feb 2020)