Vultures are not the most popular bird around because, quite frankly, they aren’t very pretty birds. But they are valuable to us as they are nature’s cleanup crew of dead animals. Therefore, they are protected by the federal migratory bird act, and it is illegal to kill them. Vultures, also called turkey vultures or buzzards, live in most areas of the United States, but particularly throughout the southern part of the country.
They like prairies, grasslands, deserts, foothills, open country, wetlands, and pastures. They don’t like heavily forested areas, though. They are social birds and live in communities. There may be several hundred vultures in one community. So if you have a vulture problem, it’s not likely to be just one bird, but a whole lot of them. Vultures have nasty droppings, the worst of any bird. Not only are they messy, but they come bacteria-ridden, too, making it even more important that you keep them away.
Vultures are rather difficult to get rid of. Since you can’t shoot them, you have to resort to other methods. One way you can try to discourage them from making your yard their home is by trying to scare or harass them. Spray them with the hose. Light small firecrackers or other noisemakers near them. Or just run toward them yelling and clapping your hands to scare them away. It may take several days of this kind of treatment for the vultures to decide they are not welcome because they don’t scare too easily; not permanently anyway.
You may try trapping the unwanted birds using a live trapping device. If there are very many, however, this may not be practical unless you are patient enough to capture just a few each day. If they have begun to nest near your home, they will return even though you release them several miles away. So this is not a very effective method for getting rid of the birds permanently. You will have to try something more radical to rid your property of these birds.
Bird Shock Tracks
This is an electrical device that can be placed on surfaces where vultures light, such as fences, floodlight poles, roofs, signs, AC units, ledges, skylights, window sills, parapets, beams, exposed trusses, or large rocks. When the bird lands on the shock track it receives a mild, brief shock. It quickly decides that is not a safe place to land and will avoid it in the future. It is safe, just startling. It will not harm pets, people, or other birds. Sold separately is a solar charger that activates up to 1,000 feet of the shock track. Using this device eliminates the need for the shock tracks to be close to a power source. Mount the solar charger any place that will expose it to several hours of sunshine each day to keep it operational.
These spike strips are easy to place anywhere that the vultures land and you can access. They have pre-drilled holes for you to nail or screw down on the surface you want to put them on. They are flexible so you can put them on curved or uneven places or around corners. They can be cut into sections to fit wherever they need to be. The spikes seem to be the most effective and most user-friendly way to drive vultures away in a humane manner.
You can purchase a device that will emit various high-frequency sound waves and other sounds that humans generally can’t hear. It also uses recorded bird distress calls and predator calls designed to frighten off the unwanted birds.
Tree Shock System
If the vultures around your place prefer roosting in trees, you have a couple of choices. Cut the tree(s) down or use a tree shock system. This is similar to the bird shock track system, but it is designed to be used in trees. It looks similar to a hose or rope that is covered with a network of wires. All you have to do is string this hose-like thing along the tree branches and secure it here and there with plastic ties, fishing line, string, or what have you. Then connect it to a charger to supply the power. Any vulture who lands on a tree branch protected by this device won’t make that mistake twice. Yet it can fly away safely and not be harmed.
Keep Your Property Clean
One thing you should do anyway is to keep your property clean. A clean property will not usually attract vultures. If an animal dies in your yard, dispose of it immediately. This is true also of roadkill, if your yard sits right next to a street where animals can get hit and killed. Keep garbage, especially food garbage, cleaned up and in secure garbage cans. Keep your outdoor barbecue or grill clean and covered.
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