Jan Wicklund of Wayzata sent a couple of photos of a turkey vulture on the hood of an automobile that were taken by her son-in-law Mancel Mitchell. Jan was wondering what the bird was eating. I love seeing vultures, the sanitation crew of our roadways who are willing to work for food. The vulture in the photo was likely nibbling on windshield-wiper blades or window seals. Everglades Park has a problem with black vultures destroying those things. There are records from here and there of crows and jays doing the same thing. Keas in New Zealand demolish wiper blades and rubber moldings. Learned behavior, I suppose. The vultures must get something from this behavior. Perhaps they are using the cars for biting and tearing practice. Maybe it’s part of the initiation into a vulture fraternity. It might be a rite of passage, a step on the path to maturation. Maybe wiper blades are easier to find than bubblegum. As far as I’m aware, no one knows for certain why vultures do this. Vultures have also been known to gnaw away at vinyl roofs. What will a vulture be nibbling on next, a tire?