In North American English, buzzard typically means vulture, and is most often applied to the Turkey Vulture. These scavengers, which feed mainly on carcasses, are common enough to be considered a pest in rural areas. They figure often in Faulkner’s work, most strikingly in As I Lay Dying (1930), where the coiling tension is mirrored by the ever-closer circling of buzzards attracted by the smell of Addie Bundren’s corpse.
Faulkner once stated in an interview for the Paris Review, "If I were reincarnated, I'd want to come back a buzzard. Nothing hates him or envies him or wants him or needs him. He is never bothered or in danger, and he can eat anything."