Is That a Vulture in Skokie?

Several vultures have been spotted by employees in the north suburb

By Melanie Kucera
|  Tuesday, Apr 5, 2011  |  Updated 11:29 AM CDT
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Second City Animal Stories

Vince Cullotta

This vulture was seen on the ledge of Koenig and Strey, at 4709 W. Golf Road in Skokie.

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The skies of Skokie have some new guests.
 
Several huge vultures were seen camping out in the past few weeks on high-rise office ledges at Koenig and Strey, at 4709 W. Golf Road, in Skokie.
 
The birds are indeed vultures -- turkey vultures, to be exact -- according to Bruce Jones, an environmental health animal control supervisor at Skokie Animal Control.

They don't pose a threat to people and usually target road kill, Jones said. But they can be intimidating-looking, hence the calls Jones has received about the birds.

"Turkey vultures, like the others birds of prey ... have made great comebacks in recent years," he said, crediting the removal of pesticides in the area.

That means the red-headed scavengers, which can boast a six-foot wing span, may be flying to a town or Chicago neighborhood near you.
 
"Over the last few years [the birds] are breeding in every region of Illinois. ... It is quite possible they go downtown Chicago," Jones said.

When Vince Cullotta's brother sent him photos of a perched vulture at Koenig and Strey, he admits he thought it was an April Fool's Day prank.
 
"It seemed like, 'How is it possible that they get this close to humans?' They were looking through windows," he said. "I think people were getting creeped out by it."
 

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