There were only a couple options for this letter, and although a vole is pretty cute, I was struck by the look of this lappet-faced vulture. Not a particularly handsome bird, but with his feather boa he seems to fancy himself rather dapper and I found this intriguing. Though they are scavengers that like to feast on any animal carcass they find, they do prefer their food as fresh as possible and are excellent at finding it before it gets thoroughly nasty and decayed. Which seems so civilized when you think about it.

Vultures tend to dig into the food they find with nothing going to waste. When diving head deep into a dead animal, it helps to be bald so that nothing sticks. The one shown here is an Old World vulture from Africa, hunting only by sight, and these are not closely related to the New World vultures in the western hemisphere. New World vultures have a much better sense of smell, which is odd when you discover that some of them will often cool themselves off on a sunny day by urinating on their own legs.

There’s honestly not an interesting fact about vultures that doesn’t involve something rather gross. Like the fact that turkey vultures can find hidden carcasses by detecting the methane gas that’s a product of decomposition. This has come in handy for humans, by using these vultures to detect leaks in cross-country gas lines because they’ll circle above them. As gross as they seem, I still think they’re pretty interesting creatures and fun to doodlewash. Next up, we have a Walrus in the lead for tomorrow, but this can all change, of course. Just three left after that, as the options grow even more limited, but almost to the end!

About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Quinacridone Gold, Pyrrol Red, Dioxazine Purple, Burnt Sienna, Neutral Tint. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal

Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

55 replies on “V Is For Vulture

    1. Thanks Cynthia! 💕😃Actually that was a typo I just corrected, because I intended to use Opera Rose and then ended up getting a similar effect with Dioxazine Purple and Pyrrol Red alone. Hehe… Which was kind of cool because now it’s light fast! Though still just in a little sketchbook. 😊Glad you liked my vulture!!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Haha, I love the scowl! And I’ve never thought of the plumage as a feather boa before. This is perfect! I’m so glad you picked the vulture as I was planning to shout that out had I actually got to the last one in time. Vultures are pretty gross indeed, but just imagine how gross things would be without them!

    A walrus will be great, though, I guess that means Witchetty Grub is out of the question? 😉

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    1. Thanks Jacob! Yeah…they are super gross, but serve a valuable and noble purpose!! Lol yeah…I’m leaning toward Walrus. Things can often change….I’m like that, but he’s the frontrunner. I have to also doodlewash another generic cat for C because I can’t use Grumpy Cat. So I’ll have to sneak some extra doodlewashes in before the week is up! And what the hell is a Witchetty Grub?? Hold please…. googling…. ewwwww!!! And under the name it just says “Food”!! Yuck!! No thanks!! Hahaha!! Love it!! ❤️

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      1. Well, I’m always up for another kitty cat! And haha, bet you’re glad you googled now! How delicious they look, right? Apparently they taste like scrambled egg with a hint of nut. I like scrambled egg, but I think I’ll take the internet’s word for it, all the same.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Vultures perform very important tasks of cleaning up dead waste so that the latter doesn’t fester and spread diseases. It’s why we love vultures! Watch out for black vultures, though; they like to rip windshield wipers off your cars. 😀 Yours is a very handsome fellow! ❤

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  3. I’m certainly glad vultures are around to handle the gross stuff. And what a handsome vulture he is! Hmmm.. A walrus, or how about a wombat? Wooly mammoth? A wolf? Lol. I can’t believe it’s almost March!

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  4. Very vicious vulture, Charlie! He looks like he could write a rap song! Lol! 😜 As for w, I Vote for walrus. X – you get extra credit on this letter as I have no clue! Y is for Yak and Z for Zebra! Just my 2 cents! Sounds like you could write a song here… 😳 Look forward to seeing what YOU choose! Awesome Charlie! 🌈💕🎨🌟

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    1. Thanks Jill! 💕😃Haha….he DOES look like he’s about to break into a rap song!! Too funny! And yep…that’s pretty much the list from here on out! As for X, X Ray fish is about it for that one. I did see Xerus pop up on some other ABC charts, but that’s a bit of a stretch. Hehe…it’s the scientific name that nobody knows for African Ground Squirrel.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love him, I was lucky enough to meet a real vulture a few years ago, I arranged for some birds to visit our hospice. I used to think they are ugly, but the visit changed my mind, I have been converted to their beauty, and character…..also lucky to have got some lovely photos. I love your painting with his feather boa. Great ‘v’ choice

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Cathe!! 💕😃Yeah…glad something is doing that job, but ewwwwww! Hehe… And I didn’t even think of woodpecker!! That would be cool! Ugh! There’s so many options for W, my last chance to choose X, Y, Z are pretty much selected for me! Lol


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