Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

This year I decided to do something a little different for Halloween. This is Nero. He is a turkey vulture and one of the education birds at The Raptor Center. I decided that I would give him a treat this year for Halloween.
Turkey vultures are very intelligent birds, perhaps as intelligent as some members of the corvid family, and because of this we try and give Nero enrichment whenever we can. Usually his food is placed inside of something, such as mush style dog balls or egg cartons, where he has to work his mind to get the food out.
I was told that pumpkins were very good for enrichment for vultures, the stringing texture of the pumpkin simulate what vultures would experience when eating carrion out in the wild, so I purchased a pumpkin, carved it up a bit and brought it for him earlier this week.
At first he was curious but cautious. I have been told that he has had pumpkins in the past but that it has been a while, Nero has been around a while he hatched back in 1974. We placed his food inside the pumpkin and had pieces sticking out for him to find. He managed to get all of his food out and then began to pick slowly at the pumpkin himself. I did check in the following day and found that much of the pumpkin was still intact but you could see where he had been picking at parts of the pumpkin.

12 comments:

eileeninmd said...

How cool, so the vultures like pumpkins too! Love the photos!

Snap said...

Happy Halloween. Thanks for sharing Nero with his pumpkin!

Teena in Toronto said...

Looks like he liked it!

I played too :)

chubskulit said...

I love the third one, he got the mine inside lol.. Nice treat!

BOO! Here's my Camera Critters entry. Have a spooky one!

madcobug said...

Good for him getting a pumpkin for Halloween. Helen

Prairie Chicken... said...

Cute :)

Squirrel said...

Very interesting.

Jedediah said...

He seems to have fun :) I like coming up with new enrichment ideas for my pets, but pumpkin for a vulture is not something I would have thought of (if I had vultures...)

Calico Crazy said...

Thanks for sharing Nero and his pumpkin. He does look quite interesting in it.

Calico Contemplations

Gel said...

Those are fun Halloween pics. A Perk of your work! :D Happy Belated Halloween.

Johnny Nutcase said...

That's great! Love the photos, Nero seems to appreciate the pumpkin, quite cute!

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