Residents of Marietta, Pennsylvania, USA, feel like they are at the real location of Alfred Hitchcock’s Bird movie these days. Only this time, instead of seagulls and sparrows, the townspeople were attacked by black vultures. These carnivorous birds of prey are relatively large and reach a length of 1.5 meters. Vultures are now drilling holes in their backs and overturning trash cans and dumping their waste on trees.
Some people used pots and pans to escape the birds. Some even lit fireworks. Some came up with a more creative solution and hung taxidermy vultures in front of their homes. Apparently, these birds of prey were terrified of seeing the bodies of their fellow humans. However, these solutions are temporary, and since the black vulture is a protected bird, it is not possible to hunt without a permit. It is illegal to live, kill or keep black vultures without permission in the United States, and violators can be fined up to $ 15,000 and sentenced to up to six months in prison.
The vomit of the vultures gives off the stench of a thousand rotten corpses
The use of vulture taxidermy is effective, but it is expensive and requires a license. “For at least a decade, these birds have become a growing problem in northeastern Pennsylvania,” a Marita resident told LNP. “But this year the situation is worse than any other year and their number is higher than ever.” In the fall and winter, vultures usually sit in groups on trees, roofs, and other high places. Apparently, the heat of the roof attracts these destructive birds. Currently, there are reports of hundreds of vultures being seen on trees or pecking at roof tiles and tearing plastic on roofs. Vultures can also break car windshield wipers and break window insulation strips. These carnivorous birds also attack trash cans, causing plastic bags to rupture and scatter garbage. “Apparently these birds are attracted to anything plastic,” said another resident. “These birds are really destructive.”
Housing insurance also generally does not cover damages caused by wild animals. As a result, city dwellers may incur several thousand dollars in damage to repair their homes. Black vultures are subject to the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty, under which they are protected by the federal government. The ban on the use of DDT and other harmful pesticides has helped increase the population of these birds. Turkey vultures are also found in abundance in Lancaster County, near Marietta. However, this type of vulture is relatively less destructive.
Black Vultures on a Customs and Border Protection Tower Telecommunication Tower in Kingsville, Texas
“In the past, black vultures were limited to the southeastern part of the country,” wildlife biologist Matt Rice told Petroit News in 2019. “But over the past few decades, and especially over the past five years in Pennsylvania, we have seen an increase in the population of these birds and subsequent reports of damage and conflict.” In the past, these birds migrated, but climate change is making them stay longer in the area. The troubles of vultures are not limited to homes and buildings, but these birds are a serious threat to small animals, which has created many problems for ranchers and pet owners.
The droppings of these carnivorous birds can kill trees and plants and cause diseases such as Salmonella (a type of food poisoning) and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). Vultures use vomiting as a defense mechanism that has a very foul odor. The couple, whose black vultures had raided their Florida cottage, likened it to “the stench of a thousand rotten corpses.”
The Quartz website also reports that these carnivorous birds sometimes drop their prey from a height of about 90 meters, damaging telecommunication towers and tall buildings and causing panic among the people. City officials, as in similar cases, declined to comment, saying they could not spend public funds on protecting private property.
However, it’s time for officials to look for more serious solutions, including deadly options, says Bill Dalsel, an advisor to the Marietta City Council. City officials can apply for a permit from the federal government to kill black vultures, and residents hope the killing of some of these birds will cause others to flee. “Dalsell told LNP:[اگر مسئولیت با من بود] “I certainly considered this option and I think the city council is responsible for it.”