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Blue Dot: Nature's soaring scavengers: the Vulture Family

California Turkey Vulture
UC Davis California Raptor Center
California Turkey Vulture

Host Dave Schlom investigates the world of vultures and condors with Michelle Hawkins, the Director of the UC Davis California Raptor Center.

One of the most underappreciated bird families, vultures around the planet perform vital roles in ecosystems, eating the remains of dead animals and tidying up the natural world!

They are magnificent soaring machines that, as we find out, live long lives within a social order. From the ubiquitous California Turkey Vulture to the rare and majestic condors, the vulture family has many fascinating adaptations to living a life aloft while feeding on ground kills.

After listening to this episode, you'll think more highly of these important and interesting birds!

Dave Schlom is the longtime host and creator of Blue Dot. From surfing to Voyager in interstellar space, rock guitar to orcas in our imperiled oceans, the topics on Blue Dot are as varied as the host’s interests and connections -- which are pretty limitless! An internationally respected space history journalist, Dave is also deeply fascinated by all aspects of the grand workings of nature’s awesome machinery on scales ranging from galactic to subatomic. And topics take in all aspects of the arts and sciences.
Matt Fidler is a producer and sound designer with over 15 years’ experience producing nationally distributed public radio programs. He has worked for shows such as Freakonomics Radio, Selected Shorts, Studio 360, The New Yorker Radio Hour and The Takeaway. In 2017, Matt launched the language podcast Very Bad Words, hitting the #28 spot in the iTunes podcast charts.