and bluebirds.  The birds I can see around New York City are great but it’s a real bummer that those birds are virtually not findable in New York City.  And Pileated Woodpeckers?  The closest I’ll ever come to a Lord God Bird aren’t available to the avid birder in New York City either.  Where am I supposed to find a Ruffed Grouse?  Not in Manhattan, that’s for sure!

Turkey Vulture in flight

But for some reason, it is the Turkey Vultures I miss the most.  Sure they eat carrion, look vile, and lack feathers on their heads, but watching Turkey Vultures soar overhead in a flock is a sight worth seeing, especially when one does not have them in the neighborhood.

Flying Turkey Vulture

So the next time you see a flock of Turkey Vultures, or any other “everyday” bird and don’t give it a second thought (or look) remember that someone, somewhere, has never seen one or isn’t seeing one right now, and would desperately love to see the bird you are ignoring (except House Sparrows and Pigeons: you can ignore them all you want).  And don’t forget that no matter how common a bird is now, you would really miss it if it wasn’t around

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Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy, their son, Desmond Shearwater, and their indoor cat, B.B. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.