More Than 100 Have Invaded And Are Causing Havoc; USDA On Case

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — One New Jersey township has a bit of a bird problem.

Residents in Bridgewater said they have been recently spotting more and more vultures in their area — to the tune of more than 100.

Among those residents is Bob Marhold, who spoke with 1010 WINS reporter Gary Baumgarten on Thursday.

“There were over 100 two days ago. When it was a little bit warmer out, you’ll see them sitting up on the top of the tree and on top of the neighbors’ houses,” Marhold said.

And that is problematic, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

“They’re everywhere. These birds are huge,” resident Tom Friar told CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider, emphasizing their 5-foot wingspans.

“They’re these giant, scary things and it’s creepy to walk and have them all over the place!” Ally Friar added.

The USDA said when large groups of vultures congregate near people’s homes, property damage can occur in the form of tearing of window caulking, roof shingles and vent seals. The agency, however, has a plan to eradicate the creatures — tying hanging vulture effigies in nearby trees in the hope that they scare off the big birds, CBS 2’s Schneider reported.

“They see one of their own hanging upside down, dead and they say maybe we shouldn’t stay here,” Tom Friar said.

The residents said they are so fed up they have no problem paying $400 for the effigies to hopefully get rid of the pests.

“It’s very strange and everyone said ‘yeah, get rid of ’em.’ Next fall we might have to do this again,” Tom Friar said.

Marhold said the birds have been hanging out in the trees along Eastbrook Road for a few years now. He said they don’t bother people, but they’re droppings sure do.

Vultures that roost on electrical transmission structures can produce accumulations of feces that, in turn, lead to power outages, according to the USDA.

Marhold, who has a small dog, said he doesn’t let it out when the vultures are circling — just as a precaution.

Some residents said they have noticed the vultures came into the area following Sandy.

They believe the vultures are being spotted because trees that might have been part of their natural habitat were knocked down during the superstorm.

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