Victor & Victoria

Victor is a black vulture and so is Victoria. Here is a photo of this pretty pair:


Victor’s parents lived on our land and raided our composting area on a regular basis. Everyday we throw out our organic waste near the banana trees. Whatever was considered edible, and that is just about everything except the coffee grounds, was eaten by Victor´s parents. Although they did appreciate chicken bones and fish heads much more than overripe pineapple. Victor’s parents decided that the easiest way to ensure Victor a good future, was to nest close to the cornucopia that is our compost heap.

We found out fairly quickly where the nest was located – a hole in the ground somewhere behind and below our upper water tank. Victor as a baby was a cute thing – all fluffy white with a black bill. So when we had some especially delicious leftovers, like a fish head or tail, we brought them all the way up and fed them to little Victor. Victor learned quickly that we were a source of food rather than a source of danger. He may be on the ugly side, but he is definitely not bird-brained.

And he has not forgotten either. As an adult vulture, he started to visits the compost heap every day to check it out for edible titbits. He quickly learned that those edible titbits were brought there by us in a blue bucket. Then he learned that making an appearance in front of one of us usually resulted in the appearance of the blue bucket. Next he found out that the blue bucket is normally located in our kitchen.

After a few visits to the kitchen by Victor, we learned that we had to close the kitchen door when no-one was inside. Then Victor found out that the kitchen could also be reached via the front door. We have been busy to train him (or he us?) that he will get his food, if he just waits patiently at the back door. This appears to work.

Since a month or two, Victor has been bringing a friend, Victoria, to share in the bounty of our compost heap. After feeding, they used to rest on the support structure we made for the new veranda. But, as the work on the veranda progressed, there was less and less support structure and they started sitting on the wooden veranda floor. This was not to our liking. Mostly because Victor and Victoria were not exactly house-trained, but also because black vultures have the unsavoury habit of sh*tting on their feet to cool down. And that results in white splotches and/or white foot prints on our new veranda.

We have managed to learn them not to sit on the veranda (at least not in our presence), but house-training them is proving to be very difficult. Perhaps they are bird-brained after all? Whatever the case, we assume that they are a happy couple because we have seen them trying for a Victor(ia) Junior. As soon as we know the result, we will let you know.

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