The U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services and the city of Weatherford are working together to diminish the presence of black vultures in the downtown area, particularly at a cell tower site, reported the Weatherford Democrat. Since the law protects vultures, the USDA Wildlife Services will be using a series of lasers, drones, effigies, and pyrotechnics to help the birds safely migrate away from the area.
Parker County Ag Extension Agent Jay Kingston said black vultures tend to stay in their home area longer than usual.
“It usually takes a pretty cold winter to push them south,” Kingston said. “I would suspect the milder winter Parker County has had is leading the cause of black vultures congregating more this year.”
Another challenge, according to Kingston, is that vultures have highly acidic stomach liquids and urine. Part of their natural defense is to regurgitate their stomach contents, which can be very corrosive, especially to the tower.
According to a city press release, effigies (or fake, dead vultures) are often enough of a deterrent for roost dispersal. However, vultures may be stubborn and return after they are scared off. Kingston said, cleaning up garbage and roadkill can also help deter vultures.