Don’t Play Dead with a Vulture

In appreciation of Black Vultures

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Driving to an appointment, I was delighted to pass a tree with a large flock of Black Vultures perching in it.

It looked like an image in an Edward Gorey illustration or a Tim Burton film. It was a delightfully sunny day, and these tall, stark trees had these large black masses hanging in them.

A beautiful sight.

Yes, I just finished binging Wednesday (Addams) on Netflix. Still, I adore vultures and value their important role in keeping our environment free of dead things. And I also appreciate the bird’s beauty and personality.

Just look at those unfeathered faces! A vulture’s dark expressive eyes become the focal point. And for those that regard these birds as “ugly,” they look the same way other birds look without feathers.

This day marked the anniversary of my Grandfather’s passing, so seeing Black Vultures grouped together on this specific day held even more meaning.

Many view Black Vultures as harbingers of death, but I see these birds as a positive thing.

Vultures Symbolize Good Luck and Rebirth

According to AnimalHype, since the vulture is a sign of death, many believe it to be a bad omen. However, in many cases, these birds symbolize good luck and are a beacon of rebirth.

As part of nature’s clean-up crew, Black Vultures, like Turkey Vultures, are scavengers that cleanse, purify and renew our environment of decaying carcasses that can spread disease.

So these birds turn something dead into something living, and this isn’t a horror movie. It’s nature at its best.

Yet many view any type of vulture negatively because they remind us that we are mortal and that life goes on after we die. And like all living things, something is waiting to consume our bodies after our need for them ends.

I was elated to see the number of birds tripled on my way home. I’ve never seen so many Black Vultures in one place. It was as if these trees were a Black Vulture meetup, and I was so grateful I had my camera to capture this moment.

Then I rushed back to the office and told Dan to grab his camera because he needed to photograph this incredible flock.

Unfortunately, on my return trip, the vultures vanished. We drove around, hoping to find them, but they were gone.

It could be a sign reminding me to live my life to the fullest because the vultures are waiting.

Or just happenstance. Either way, I appreciate these birds’ essential role in our ecosystem. And you should too.

We’re inspired by birds, nature, and wildlife we encounter outdoors, like beautiful vultures. So please visit our shop for holiday gift ideas. And most important, we donate 25% to bird and wildlife advocacy groups to support their important work!


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