FEBRUARY 5, 2021: “Carrion My Wayward Son!” …

~ Courtesy of The American Eagle Foundation ~

If you’re ever bored, please check out my friend, George, the 35 year old turkey vulture who lives in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, at the American Eagle Foundation. Believe it or not, as obsessed as I am with corvids and raptors, even more so am I with vultures!

“But, why Cat? WHY?”

In my humble opinion, they are perhaps one of the most undervalued and misunderstood creatures of all, a plight I know far too well.

Vultures? Eww, gross! Nasty, dirty, AWFUL, disgusting birds!

What I love about George is how his social media fame is steadily changing the face of his kind via his super silly antics and personality! To know him is to love him, but the longer you do, the farther removed from “disgusting bird” you’ll become, as nothing could be farther from the truth!

Vultures are much maligned. As natural garbage collectors, vultures are vital to our ecosystem, so why do we feel this way? Is it because we perceive them as ugly? [They] are one of very few creatures capable of effortless soaring for hours at a time. Many believe that the sight of soaring vultures is a sure signal that a dead animal can be found nearby, but this is not always true. Vultures are intelligent creatures who love to play. When a vulture discovers a thermal, it is able to hold its wings motionless, and allow the warm air to carry it in large, sweeping circles, toward the sky. You may see a group of them soaring gracefully, just enjoying life.

{Summit Outside … “The Misunderstood Vulture“}

By no means am I professing to be an avian expert; I merely speak to you from my heart and personal perspective. Having taken the time to become educated as George’s fan, I am “committed” to these thoughts about vultures (and yes, that pun was intended) …

THEY CLEAN UP OUR MESSES (so that we don’t have to wallow in them)! Which isn’t to say they only feed on roadkill. They are THE official clean-up crew of death. Can you imagine your daily drive with the mountains of carcasses we run over, along with the flies, maggots and odors on top of them? Now that would be, “Eww, GROSS!”

THEY’RE THE GOOD KIND OF MARTYRS! In keeping with the above, vultures are fast becoming an integral part of bacterial disease research. They feed on corpses – we learn from their corpses. Can someone say circle of life? “The birds with the iron stomachs” consume the rotting flesh that can be toxic to so many others. What they consume prevents the spread of diseases that that may otherwise be consuming us!

THEY DON’T ACT LIKE ANIMALS! Vultures are known to be gentle creatures, devoid of unwarranted aggression, avidly social, and cooperative amongst their peers. They prefer to work together, not against each other, and are exceptional parents who share the responsibility of raising their brood.

THEY’RE NOBODY’S VICTIM! A vulture’s legs and feet are known to be weak, and their lack of a voice box leaves them speechless. Yet, their “disabilities” don’t stop them from accomplishing their life’s work and living at full potential! Their wings and bills are mighty (they can float like feathers, but still shred a dead-animal steak like tissue paper), and though they can’t sing like their fellow feathered compadres, they still manage to thrive with only primitive grunts, screeches, and hisses.


MY DEAREST GEORGE: Thank you my handsome friend for helping me see life through your eyes. It is my hope that anyone who meets you will find you as wondrous as I do, so that the next time they see your brethren on the road just doing what they do, instead of saying, “Eww, gross!”, they’ll say, “Thank you God for those beautiful creatures!”, and MAYBE even, Carrion my wayward son and lay that bald head of yours to rest … WE COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT YOU!”

~ Courtesy of The American Eagle Foundation ~

Are you even “remotely interested” in supporting “Team George” and the American Eagle Foundation?