Black Vulture in Colorado and Snickerdoodle Ice Cream

Huh?  That’s our story and we’re stickin to it! The bird we didn't see - A Black Vulture

Two days ago, a Black Vulture was sighted at Castlewood Canyon State Park.

Home made Ice Cream

And then I made this Snickerdoodle Ice Cream ….

July 4, 2009.  This is a very rare bird for Colorado with only a handful of records over the years.  We got the phone call yesterday around noon, so we dropped everything and drove over with binoculars and dreams of adding a new bird for our Colorado State list.  Believe me, we’ve seen plenty of Black Vultures in Florida and Texas, but none here.  After a couple hours of scanning the sky and searching through soaring Turkey Vultures, we left the canyon Black Vultureless so decided to be at the park again this morning.

We wanted to arrive before the temperatures heated up so we could be present for the big lift off.  You see, vultures wait for the warming thermals before taking to the air.  Castlewood Canyon hosts a large number of roosting Turkey Vultures, it seems our guest Black Vulture has fallen in with a bad crowd.

There were about 16 of us at the Homestead parking lot.  After about an hour we decided to move South to the next parking lot for a better vantage point.  We enjoyed a singing Red-Eyed Vireo, many Bluebirds, lots of calling Spotted Towhees….no Black Vulture.  We stayed at the park from 8:30 – 11:00 scanning the sky, again sifting through Turkey Vulture after Turkey Vulture.  No Black Vulture.  At 11:30 as we were almost home, we got a phone call on my cell alerting us that the bird had been seen.  “We watched it for a good ten minutes”, said Steve.  Another message on our home phone from Larry, who had also given up and headed home said “I don’t know where you guys are, but I’m turning around and heading back”.

We didn’t turn around and head back, instead I made Snickerdoodle Ice Cream.  I mean com’on Black Vulture – I’ve got a National Holiday to celebrate.

015Snickerdoodle Ice Cream

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Warm the milk in a small pan.  Whisk the eggs with the sugar in a separate bowl.  Slowly add warm milk to sugar mixture continuing to whisk.  Pour mixture back in the pan and heat slowly until thickened, stirring constantly.  It should look like very liquid pudding.  Do not boil!  Let cool to room temperature add cream, vanilla and cinnamon.  Chill overnight.  Follow directions on ice cream maker for churning.

Here are some pictures from the missed Black Vulture Event:

Waiting and Watching

Waiting and Watching


A view from the parking lot

A view from the parking lot

Our little dog Chili - eyes to the sky from his chair

Our little dog Chili – eyes to the sky from his chair


We’ll try again tomorrow morning for the Black Vulture.

July 5, 2009.  We arrived at Homestead Parking lot in Castlewood Canyon at about 9:00.  Our location was to watch for from the parking lot, Loch was stationed on the North end of the park, and Larry had climbed to the top of the ridge, we’re all armed with cell phones.  So the wait began.  Several of us present chatted about recent birding adventures, a Rose-breasted Grosbeak was seen, A Gray Catbird sang for us and finally the cell phone rang with news of the bird on the Southern horizon.  Sure enough, we found the bird and watched it for a good ten minutes.   Third times a charm!

Snickerdoodles on Foodista

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  1. says

    LA- I love your blog! You need your own show on the Food Channel! :-) Some pics of you would enhance the blog. :-) Love you! -Holly

  2. says

    You may be interested to know there is a NestCam streaming live video 24/7 for a black vulture pair up and running at

    Eggs were laid 2/20 and 2/23/12, two weeks earlier than last year. Parents are sharing incubation responsibilities with an affectionate nuzzle at the periodic changing of the guard. Fluffy-tan chicks are expected to hatch the last week of March.


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