Halloween is still 26 days away, but right now there is something spooky in the skies over Auburn.
Tens of thousands of vultures are circling the city. It's a rare sight that's attracting the eyes of bird watchers.
“You have to be out from 9 (a.m.) to noon at the end of September and looking up,” said bird watcher Deren Ross.
The best spot to see the scavengers is at American River Overlook Park, Ross said.
The event happens every year around the beginning of October.
“They are migrating toward the south. Some will go to Mexico,” Ross said.
Like a layover at an airport, Auburn is just a resting spot for the vultures. Cold weather as far as Canada pushes the birds south. The unique weather patterns in Auburn act like propellant.
“When you see lots of birds, we call that a kettle,” Ross said. “We actually call this whole area our stove top.”
When the sun hits the American River Canyon and Auburn's streets, cool air is heated.
“This is the first large town when you get out of the Sierras,” Ross said. “Lots of concrete and asphalt and lots of thermals.”
Before leaving Auburn, the vultures may stop to eat.
“Road kill is their primary food,” Ross said, adding the birds don't usually stray off the menu.
“No one should be worried about their pets,” Ross said. “Vultures are not known to attack animals.”
The vultures will only be flying over Auburn for a short while, possibly only this weekend.
Your best chance to see them is at American River Overlook Park between 9 a.m. and noon.
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