Join the Fall Auburn Turkey Vulture Watch

WHO: Anyone interested in vultures and bird migration. Welcome all vulture wranglers (spotters), vulture gazers, vulture-heads, buzzard busters (kids), and vulture watching enthusiasts.
WHAT: Annual Auburn Area Turkey Vulture Migration Watch/Count/Celebration
WHEN: Saturday, September 24 to Sunday, October 16, 2022, 9am to noon.
WHERE: Headquarter Hill located above Overlook Park, Pacific Avenue, Auburn CA. Access via the Overlook Park parking lot (near entrance gate) or Pacific Avenue (park on street) via gate marked “Camp Flint” which is located approximately 100 yards west of the Overlook Park entrance. Site includes ample parking space, bathrooms, and shade beneath the Great Blue “Spirit” Oak. If you plan to stay a while, consider bringing a chair. The really big flight days usually occur during first and second week of October.

This group was created for the primary purpose of providing information about the annual fall or southern migration of Turkey Vultures through the Auburn area.

From as far north as British Columbia to as far south as Mexico and Central America, one of the largest concentrations of migrating Turkey Vultures in North America passes south through the Sierra Nevada foothills.

During peak migration, which is from late September to mid October, it is estimated that 20,000 to 30,000 vultures pass through the Auburn area. The “big days” (2-7,000) occur between late September and mid October.

The local vulture migration was first observed and recorded in 1906 by Clipper Gap resident and ornithologist Ernest H. Adams – “These birds usually come and go singly or in small flocks, but I once witnessed (October, 1906) about 200 birds in five separate flocks flying westward over Clipper Gap. The largest flock contained 62 birds. I have seen twenty to twenty-five roosting in the yellow pines” (Land Birds of Placer County by E.H. Adams, published in 1909 for students of Placer County).

Surprisingly, this local ornithological phenomena went largely unreported for nearly 100 years until it was rediscovered in the late 1990’s. In 2015, the first Auburn Area Vulture Migration Count was conducted.

Today, the vulture migration event from above Overlook Park serves not only as a informal count / watch but as a celebration of nature. Outside of the migration season, you can expect to read additional information about Turkey Vultures and vultures in general.