Vulture: Nature's Ghastly Gourmet


128 pages
Contains Photos, Maps, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 1-55054-545-0
DDC 598'.9'12






Illustrations by Roxanna Bikadoroff
Reviewed by Janet Arnett

Janet Arnett is the former campus manager of adult education at Ontario’s Georgian College. She is the author of Antiques and Collectibles: Starting Small, The Grange at Knock, and 673 Ways to Save Money.



In every respect, this book is top quality. The design, typography,
graphics, photography, research, writing style, even the extra thick
paper on which it is printed—all are first-class.

Can all this quality counter our perception of vultures as gruesome or
repulsive? Vultures have an image problem. Grady acknowledges this and
then moves beyond it to present the fascinating life history of the
various species of vulture found throughout the world.

North American species—particularly the turkey and black vultures and
the California Condor—receive generous coverage. Habitat, mating,
nesting, eggs, feeding, soaring, and range are covered, as is the much
more fascinating linkages between vultures and humans. From Egyptian
pharaohs to modern ranchers, from Indian mourners to American
environmentalists, humans and human cultures have interacted with
vultures. We are drawn to their power and mystery while being repelled
by their associations with death.

Vulture is a holistic work, a successful integration of text, text art,
unusual graphics, and incredible color photos. Some readers may find
parts of the text and a few of the photos too realistic for comfort. The
essence of vulture has been portrayed in all its undisguised strength.
The repulsive is expected. The beauty is a surprise.

This is a truly unusual book: its subject will fascinate naturalists,
and its presentation reaches for a new standard in the art of book


Grady, Wayne., “Vulture: Nature's Ghastly Gourmet,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 29, 2024,