Dear Sun Spots: My husband and I spotted a flock of turkey buzzards cleaning up a dead raccoon beside the road here in Durham. We saw many buzzards out in California before moving back to Maine in 1981, but this is the first we have seen since living back here. Was this a rare sighting or are buzzards common to Maine? Thanks for the information. – Patricia Higgins, Durham.

Sun Spots spoke with Sarah Bunker of the Center for Wildlife in Cape Neddick who says what you and your husband saw was probably a turkey vulture. Buzzard, she says, is typically a British term.

She says the vultures are pretty common here in Maine, increasing in numbers, and their habitat range is spreading. Bunker says that right now the vultures are searching for as much food as they can. If it’s freezing and they find carrion, Bunker says they’re going to be pretty excited at the fresh kill. They do breed in this area and feed chiefly on carrion and refuse, cleaning up, which Bunker says makes them sort of nature’s garbageman. They nest in caves or large rocklike crevices.

Some interesting facts Bunker had to share about turkey vultures:

• They are very caring parents.

• They soar on the thermal air currents.

• They defecate on their legs to cool off.

• They lay eggs in sheltered areas.

• They do not roost together.

• They vomit in self defense.

• They hiss in self-defense because they have no larynx.

• They have one of the most highly adapted senses of smell in the bird world.

Dear Sun Spots: Where can I find a “door guard” locally? It has a yoke that fits from the door knob, a rod and then a gripper base at the bottom. It’s a security rod for use when traveling.

Also, when is Dr. Dean Edell on live? We get a recorded show here on Sunday nights and people would like to know how to call in and ask a question when the show is live.

Can you tell me if any organizations have use for World Books from 1972? – No Name, No Town.

Regarding your first question, I would check your local Marden’s Surplus & Salvage, Wal-Mart or Discount Bob’s to see if they carry this. Walter Drake Co. at 1-800-525-9291; Carol Wright Gifts at (402) 464-6116 or Home Trends at 800-810-2340 are other options. A simple way is to place the back of a chair up against the door handle to prevent it from being turned and the door pushed in.

Dr. Dean Edell, one of the first physician broadcasters in the nation, is the host of America’s second most popular syndicated radio talk show, “The Dr. Dean Edell Show,” heard on more than 400 radio stations, as well as the anchor of “Medical Minutes,” a series of 10 weekly radio medical reports. He is also the host of a daily 90-second “Medical Report” seen in 75 television markets. Edell is known for translating complicated medical information into concise, easy-to-understand reports and for tackling topics that are obscure, unusual and often controversial.

You should be able to locate his show on WGAN 560 A.M. from 6 to 10 p.m. Sundays. You can try contacting him via e-mail at: [email protected] Please note that because of the large number of submissions, only a few questions will be addressed on air. Edell does not respond directly to e-mailed questions.

Regarding your World Books, perhaps an organization out there interested in these encyclopedias will contact the column to let you know.

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