Monday Must Read! Katie Fallon: Vulture: The Private Life of an Unloved Bird
Angels walk among us, and Katie Fallon is one of them. Her talent, compassion, humor, and committed love for this sweet planet are all breath-taking. You just gotta read Vulture.
Katie Fallon is the author of the nonfiction books Vulture: The Private Life of an Unloved Bird (University Press of New England, 2017) and Cerulean Blues: A Personal Search for a Vanishing Songbird (Ruka Press, 2011).
Katie is also the author of a beautiful book for children, Look, See the Bird!, written with Bill Wilson of Birds & Beans Coffee Company and illustrated by Leigh Anne Carter, from Hatherleigh Press.
A finalist for the Reed Award for Outstanding Writing on the Southern Environment, Cerulean Blues is “part journey, part documentary, and wholly engaging; a tribute to a bird that bridges continents with its wings and to a rising star among contemporary nature writers,” according to Pete Dunne, former Director of the Cape May Bird Observatoryand author of Hawks In Flight and other books.
Katie’s essays have appeared in a variety of literary journals and magazines, including Fourth Genre, River Teeth, Ecotone, Bark Magazine, Appalachian Heritage, Now & Then, Isotope, Fourth River, the minnesota review, The Tusculum Review, and elsewhere. Her essay “Rebirth” (published in River Teeth, Fall 2013) was listed as a “Notable” in Best American Science & Nature Writing 2014, and her essay “Hill of the Sacred Eagles” was a finalist in Terrain‘s 2011 essay contest. She has been nominated several times for a Pushcart Prize. Katie has taught creative writing at Virginia Tech and West Virginia University. Her first word was “bird.”
Katie is also one of the founders of the Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving wild birds through scientific research; outreach and public education; and rescue and rehabilitation. The ACCA is based near Morgantown, WV, and each year treats more than 200 injured wild birds, conducts dozens of environmental education programs, and sponsors citizen-science research projects.
Visit Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia
Buy Vulture: The Private Life of an Unloved Bird
About VULTURE: The Private Life of an Unloved Bird
VULTURE chronicles the life and times of one the world’s most under-appreciated and overlooked birds: the turkey vulture. Part ecological memoir, part travel narrative, part scientific exploration, and part love story, this book examines the roles turkey vultures–and all vultures–play in healthy ecosystems. Fallon travels to India, Arizona, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and her own backyard in her quest to study, care for, and observe this often unloved though vitally important (and uniquely beautiful!) bird.
Praise & Reviews
“When you read this book you will know why I consider it to be the most eloquent and beautiful depiction of a vulture ever… A heartfelt and authoritative account of the world’s most numerous and misunderstood avian scavenger. Written in a style reminiscent of Edward Abbey and John McPhee, Fallon successfully captures the natural history of the species and its ability to succeed in both natural and man-made landscapes. Destined to change the mind of anyone who reads it.” — Keith L. Bildstein, PhD, Sarkis Acopian Director of Conservation Science at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary
“Naturalist and bird rehabilitator Fallon (Cerulean Blues: A Personal Search for a Vanishing Songbird) presents an entertaining, well-researched title that nominally concerns the familiar turkey vulture but ranges widely, incorporating up-to-date information on condors and vultures worldwide… She displays great passion and enthusiasm yet writes knowingly and dispassionately on the science of her subject in an engaging, literary style.” — Library Journal, starred review
“This book is about vultures in the human world, but nowhere in the story does the human aspect overly intrude. The great birds are front-and-center, consistently painted in a positive and empathetic light. It is to Fallon’s credit that she is able to coax the reader into the same love affair with vultures that she herself enjoys, without romanticizing her subject to the point of putting off her audience.” — Sense of the Misplaced
“Who would have suspected the astonishments of vultures? Katie Fallon has given us an ingenious, funny, delightful book.”—Janisse Ray, author of Ecology of a Cracker Childhood
More from Katie Online
Listen to an interview with Katie on BirdCallsRadio, September 2016.
Essay “Hill of the Sacred Eagles” published in Terrain and named a Finalist for its 2011 Creative Nonfiction Contest. This piece appears in a different form as a chapter in Vulture.
Essay “Dogs Bring Comfort in Wake of Virginia Tech Tragedy” in Bark Magazine, 2011.
An excerpt from Chapter Two of Cerulean Blues in The Tusculum Review, 2011.