Wings of Autumn

The signs of autumn are slowly appearing in the Battle Creek basin. Last week bid farewell the triple digit heat with a final day of 103F (39.4C) on Monday, October 1. This week opened with a high of 80F(26.6C).  The temperature drop and shorter days nudge a color shift in the trees.

Kettles of turkey vultures fill the sky. Here along the creek we have vultures year round. They even nest in our backyard. This time of year their numbers increase in the sky as they circle higher and higher on thermals.  Vultures gather here for a reason. The fall run of Chinook salmon is underway.

Reviled creatures, most people consider these carrion feeders gross and ugly. If you have ever smelled rotting salmon from the spawn, you may consider these turkey vultures the most beautiful of all. We welcome their presence to keep our little valley clean.

I appreciate these birds.

Turkey Vultures –
This is an illustration from a children’s book I am working on called “No Place for Ugly Birds.”



34 thoughts on “Wings of Autumn

  1. What a beautiful painting! While Turkey Vultures themselves will never win an award for beauty, they are highly beneficial in that they eat dead things…even diseased dead things. And they are so magnificent when they just soar across the sky. It’s nice to meet someone else who appreciates them!


  2. They look like they are smiling! Having them here, I enjoy watching them too. If they eat road kill critters like skunks, they are tops on my list!:0


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  4. Oh, a kindred spirit! I love vultures! They are my favorite birds. They are gentle creatures, and so wonderfully graceful when they fly. They are Nature’s humble housecleaners.

    I was also told once that in Central American legend, the vulture is responsible for carrying the souls of the dead to Heaven.


  5. These are absolutely wonderful! You make them look like charming and proud creatures. As I wrote on my blog for Thanksgiving, we should be grateful for Turkey Vultures as they do the world a great service.


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