This was one of the most bizarre things I have had the opportunity to investigate and photograph. We were in a parking lot in West Palm Beach, FL trying to find good service on the cell phone between buildings with I looked up to see a flock of huge birds circling. I guessed they were vultures because of their size and flying habits, but what were they doing here in downtown West Palm Beach I couldn’t figure out. I asked a UPS driver who happened to be in the parking lot if I was correct and he laughed and said yes. I asked him if they were circling waiting for all of the old people in Palm Beach to die and he laughed louder.
I was intrigued and did a little more research. I found out these birds spend the day at the county dump scrounging for food and in the late afternoon when the sea breeze and the sun’s heat combine to cause vortexes between the Phillips Point building and other bulidings in downtown West Palm Beach, they congregate and soar the winds hanging out on the ledges outside the offices.
What architect would have ever thought to NOT design a building that had perfect ledges for a six pound turkey vulture. Who would have thunk it!!! Well, the Phillips Point building is a very prestigious location and is filled with the upper crust of financial management institutions who service the monied old people of West Palm Beach. I found it ironic they be circled by vultures. Oh isn’t Karma beautiful sometimes.
These birds land on the ledges, dive down, ride the wind currents, soar up and land back on the ledges. I went up into the building to check it out from the inside and found one of the main floors that points in the western direction vacant. How would you like to be sitting at your desk and less than two feet away from you a six pound vulture with a six foot wingspan fly towards you and lands on the ledge next to you? It would be either totally disgusting or would be the coolest business motivator in the world. Most likely it would be disgusting because turkey vultures defecate on their legs and feet to kill the bacteria that grows there from spending too much time digging through dead and decaying creatures. Translation – there’s shit all over the ledges.
I still can’t get over the financial institution and vultures thing. I still smile thinking about this. Check out the photos.