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N.J. Communities Stringing Up Carcasses To Keep Troublesome Vultures Away

USDA Assists Bridgewater, Where 100 Giant Birds Have Been Making A Mess
Vultures (credit: Bob Marhold)

Vultures (credit: Bob Marhold)

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BRIDGEWATER, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New Jersey communities from one end of the state to the other have had it with vultures, and have strung up vulture carcasses this winter to drive away flocks of the damaging birds.

On Monday, federal wildlife officials hoisted a dead black vulture about 30 feet up a tree in the backyard of a home in Bridgewater, a suburb of 45,000 residents.

Wildlife officials said it is a sure-fire way to stop buzzards from roosting in the area.

Residents of one Bridgewater neighborhood have counted at least 100 vultures roosting in a handful of pine trees nearby. They’ve been leaving behind foul-smelling and acidic droppings on lawns and roofs.

Bridgewater resident Bob Marhold, who spoke with 1010 WINS reporter Gary Baumgarten about the vulture infestation last week.

“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 U.S. Department of Agriculture 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.

Vulture carcasses have been strung up in at least a half-dozen other New Jersey locations this winter.

In addition to stringing up dead vultures, the USDA also suggested mounting effigies in nearby trees in the hope that they scare off the big birds, CBS 2’s Schneider reported.

Some residents said last week that 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 hurricane.

Have you ever had a problem with vultures? Leave your comments below…

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)