This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
An old vulture, or turkey buzzard, occupied the same nest for twenty years. In a certain piece of woodland, on a farm now belonging to the writer, is a buzzard's nest, formerly in a hollow tree, but the tree was felled several years ago, and the buzzard still occupies the same nest in the stump.
The former owner of the land informed me, four years ago, that a buzzard had laid and reared her young in that stump for sixteen years in succession, and to my certain knowledge one has done so for this the fourth year since, making twenty years in all. She is now sitting. on two eggs, which is the number always laid by this species. The eggs are about the size and shape of the common turkey hen's egg, only a little longer and more pointed, ground pure white, with large, irregular splashes or spots of dark red. They usually, if not always, hatch, and are reared by the old one. While in their infant state they are covered with a pure white down, which is afterward replaced by black feathers, and when all the down has disappeared the bird is able to fly.
[While the editor was in the mountains of Tennessee last year, the conversation with the guide turned on the habits of the buzzard, who said also that they built on the ground in the cover of the high rocks in the same place year after year. As snakes were said to abound, we asked, "Do not the snakes trouble the eggs or young?" "Dey doesn't want'em, sah." "Why not?" "Dey smell too strong." " How do they smell ?" "Did yah eber smell a pup when he cum out ob de water?" And then our colored friend put on a smile such as those only can who feel satisfied that they have completely nonplussed the questioner. - Ed. G. M]