The story behind the buzzard on Route 66 in Springfield, Missouri

The Springfield News-Leader newspaper in Missouri has a regular feature that serves as an Answer Man column, where Steve Pokin tries to dig into and solve local mysteries — some serious and some not-so-serious.

Pokin was on vacation, so staff writer Wyatt Wheeler took over during the interim. Wheeler received this question in his email: “What can you tell me about this imaginative yard art? It is located at 2104 College Street in Springfield.” That is on a prominent Route 66 alignment in Springfield (map here).

Attached to the email was a photo of a buzzard perched in a nest in a satellite dish. Nearby was a sign that stated: “Fresh Buzzard Eggs for Sale.”

The owner of the property is Don Wilcox, who owns Wilcox Auto Trim, an upholstery shop.

Wheeler explains the origin of the buzzard:

Wilcox said he bought the buzzard five or six years ago after it used to be on a miniature golf course. The paint on it was bad, so he had his daughter help make it into what it is today. […]
Wilcox tried to think of something he could do with the buzzard so he could put it on display for the world to see. 
When he was at a farmhouse, he noticed a satellite dish and he decided that he could fix it up and make it into a nest for his beautiful bird — and that’s what you see there today.

When asked he did it, Wilcox said: “I just like it.”

Wheeler found out Wilcox owns other memorabilia at his shop, including a gravity-feed gas pump, an old street lamp, old bicycles and a “Tow Mater” sign I’m pretty sure once graced the former Three Women on the Route — now Cars on the Route — on Route 66 in Galena, Kansas.

Wilcox told the newspaper he next is putting in a 15-foot dinosaur on the property.

It’s only a matter of time before the buzzard and Wilcox’s other oddities show up on the Roadside America website.

(Excerpted image from Google Street View of the buzzard and its nest at Wilcox Auto Trim in Springfield, Missouri)

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