Texas Wildlife Service trained employees with Greenville Animal Control in the use of specially-designed pyrotechnics to scare away turkey vultures roosting on a cell tower, reported the Herald Banner. For the past decade, the birds have caused property damage and disruption to area residents.
“Whether they leave or stay is going to depend on all players [in the community],” said Adam Henry of the USDA Wildlife Service.
“In addition to the tower, there are lots of nearby trees where the vultures will want to roost, so more tree trimming may be needed. Also, if people who live there start yelling and screaming at the birds to harass them, that will reinforce what we’re doing with the pyrotechnics to get them to move away,” he said.
On top of roosting on the tower, vulture roosting has spilled over to homes, where the birds walk on roofs and harass neighbors trying to get their mail or greet visitors, reported the Herald Banner.
“I, frankly, didn’t believe it was as bad as it was until I went out there,” Greenville City Attorney Daniel Ray said. “At the top of the tower, there were about 100 birds up there, but … there were about 150 birds on top of about a 15 by 15-foot building” located under the tower.
Since the birds are a protected species, using pyrotechnics as a non-lethal way of deterring vultures was the way to go; however, special training was necessary, due to the many safety precautions that have to be taken into account when firing the pyrotechnics from their pistol-like launcher, reported the Herald Banner.
For the next few weeks, the pyrotechnics will be deployed near the cell tower at around dusk, since that tends to be the time of day when the vultures congregate en masse on or around the tower. According to Henry, once temperatures increase as springtime weather returns, the vultures’ egg-laying season will begin, during which federal law forbids the harassment of nesting birds. Comments? Email Us.
March 11, 2019