If one has driven in the evening on SH 35 N. through Holiday Beach he or she has witnessed a unique occurrence – buzzards prepping for a night’s sleep on one of the huge communications towers.
Linda Castor said the Holiday Beach tower “fills up like a dark Christmas tree” every night, but someone is shooting at the buzzards.
“They are protected under the Migratory Bird Act,” said Castor. “Buzzards are of the vulture class because the eat meat, but they usually don’t hunt and kill. They scavenge.
“They do not prefer a fresh carcass. They like it several days old.”
She recently read a Connie Hagar book about the thousands of birds Hagar recorded in her logbook back in the 1940s.
“I realized how lovely it must have been back then,” said Castor.
She said many birds are beautiful to observe. Noting buzzards aren’t exactly pretty, she said, “They are the cleaning ladies.
“They work hard to rid our environment of carcasses and disease.”
Castor pointed to the passenger pigeon (now extinct), and the Bald Eagle, which was almost extinct, but was protected under the Endangered Species Act in 1978. The Bald Eagle, our national bird, is the only eagle unique to North America. It was taken off the endangered list in 2007.
“The last passenger pigeon died in 1927,” said Castor. “We’ll never see that bird again.”
Castor wrote to The Rockport Pilot to share her concerns about Holiday Beach’s nesting buzzards.
“I’m not anti-hunting, or anti-gun,” she said. “If an animal is rabid, a threat, or in pain (I can understand someone shooting it), but please do not belittle yourself and rob our community firing bullets at the (nesting buzzards).
“It is illegal, and the bullets have to land somewhere.”