VULTURES!

m935

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Hi. Its been awhile.  I now only have 5 ferals left after staring with about 19.   Its been tough.

AS of today, I'm dealing with vultures.  They have been around in the morning and usually fly off.  Today they stuck around even coming over to the food while cats were eating.

IM very concerned for all our safety.

Is there something I can do to keep them away?  Are the cats safe.  they are not timid at all.   I just went back out an hour after feeding and there are more!!!     They wont leave and i have to make sure the cats ate.     I do have 3 big containers that they use for shelter.   I put food in them and placed in the direction of the woods.. but dont want to cause a danger if teh birds go into the cans as well.    They have a big yard surrounded by woods - not sure if the birds will go into the woods are not.

I feed in the morning and around dusk.   In summer I have seagulls that i have to feed around and Raccoons.   I just cant deal with another annoying species.  

please help.

THANK YOU
 
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m935

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I  did notice there are old threads on this topic.... but anyone with new info would be great to hear from.

I got in trouble years ago for tying cds to trees for the seagulls (didn't work anyway)

Sorry I seriously ran in here, got on computer and came to this site just to ask.   I;m so concerned this is going to be a daily issue ... and I just cant. 

:)
 

Willowy

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Vultures are unable to kill anything large/healthy enough to fight back, and are not inclined to fight at all---they lack strength in their beak and claws. They are only scavengers, not hunters. They probably like the leftover cat food :D. If it's turkey vultures, they usually use a roosting place for a couple months and then move on. So hopefully it will be a short-lived annoyance.

You can call your local wildlife management people to ask what you can do legally to discourage them. Perhpas a radio playing loudly will work.
 

keeneland

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 Vultures are unable to kill anything large/healthy enough to fight back
We are having an issue with what is know as Black Vultures in our area. They have a black/grayish head vs. what everyone always referred to as a Turkey Buzzard that has a red head. Farmers are losing new born calves to the black vultures as they will attack as the calf is being born. They peck the calf's eyes out and then eat them. Based on this I would say they attack anything that is newborn, be it a baby deer, baby kitten, rabbit's etc. You generally have to go through local fish & wildlife departments before taking action as these are a protected species by the government.I would guess they would go after wet cat food if they know it's available but I wouldn't think they would eat dry. Maybe go to dry feed only and see if this helps.These are really getting to be a problem here as one neighbor lost 7 calves to them last spring. 
 

di and bob

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I have about thirty turkey vultures in a nearby park area, they are always circling the skies overhead. Vultures are scavengers, they may try to kill a very injured animal, but mainly feed on roadkill.They will not attack and kill a cat like an eagle would, but if you have them at feeding time that would be annoying. You'll have to pick up the food as soon as the cats are done, or feed the cats for a while closer to home where you can chase them away for a while. I am at war with the raccoons around here, it is a pain to see them eating my cat's food and scaring the cats away. 
 
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m935

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thank you so much!    very helpful.  Especially the dry food option.   Of course... I have cats that wont eat dry only anymore.   :)   But I could feed them elsewhere for a bit.

THANKS again!!
 

ritz

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I have the same problem. These birds are definitely vultures, in a mostly abandoned mental state hospital. We've had some success with blasting them with water (super soaker). Vultures are a protected species where I live, and we can't do much more than that.
 

Willowy

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Vultures won't hurt live animals. They don't have the strength in their beaks and talons like hawks and eagles do. So they're just annoying not dangerous. And yes, they are federally protected, even spraying them with water may be punishable so be careful.

Some people have had success with putting a radio in the area, playing loudly. Vultures usually find a new perching spot after a couple of months, although if it's a good perching spot another bunch might move in.
 

ritz

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Thanks for the warning about spraying. We don't feel we are hurting them--just scaring them away. The problem is they scare away the cats and eat the food.
It is a good perching place, and the vultures are everywhere. Good idea about the radio, but this property is abandoned, lots of abandoned buildings and sheds, with no electrical outlets. Our presence is tolerated because we feed the cats; otherwise, this is a strictly controlled, no trespassing area, patrolled by security guards in cars.
 

Furballsmom

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Try a Battery operated radio, tell the guards if necessary so they know what the music is for
 

keeneland

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Vultures won't hurt live animals. They don't have the strength in their beaks and talons like hawks and eagles do. So they're just annoying not dangerous. And yes, they are federally protected, even spraying them with water may be punishable so be careful.
You may want to research this statement. I have a neighbor that lost 8 baby calves to black vultures last year and I know of numerous others have lost them here in KY. The Fish & wildlife Dept. is paying farmers for their losses if they can prove the vultures killed the calf. The vultures descend on the calf while it is being born and peck it eyes out and progress from there. They are Federally Protected but if they kill livestock I think you can get a permit to do what you need to do.
 

Willowy

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Well, yes, if an animal is helpless (like a newborn), they may injure it, particularly because they really like afterbirth. A healthy adult animal is not in danger though.
 

surya

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The two things I have used are a squirt gun and a butterfly net, standing guard and chasing them like a crazy person. Fortunately, they moved on and only bothered them for a few days. I was very worried for the feral kittens, as I have read they do kill small animals.
 

Mommaheartsya

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How about taking a large plastic storage bin and cutting a couple of 6” diameter holes in it, one at each end, putting the cat food in the middle, and then putting the lid on? Black vultures will eat dry food, at least dry dog food. Used to have one that would come eat out of my dog’s dish. As soon as I started removing any uneaten food after the dog was done eating, he quit coming around. Making the cat food inaccessible to the vultures would probably solve your problem.
 

Jcatbird

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I have had problems too. I finally started putting some stinky food out where it was easy for the vultures to see and get and then putting the cat food under inverted bread crates that were just tall enough for cats. I weighted these down and covered them with pine straw to camoflage. Feeding the vultures across the yard with stinky old food diverted them. If any come close I do find they are scared of the noise of two metal pipes being struck together. Now if they see me they take off. I moved their food further and further away from the cat food and have slowly decreased the amount I put out. There are less now. They rarely go to the cat station. They do know what time I feed but seem scarce very early and very late in the day so I feed then.
 

LilReindeer

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Yep, you have a problem alright.
Most of us, when we think of those large birds with light reddish skin on their featherless faces picture the Turkey Vulture in our minds. These mellow, almost friendly Turkey Vultures are nothing like their counterparts, the newer 'kids' in town, called Black Vultures or Black Buzzards.
Unlike their rather harmless and almost sweet relatives, Black Vultures can be very aggressive. They've been known to attack animals as large as pigs, young calves, and other livestock.
To accomplish getting the best of such a big animals the vultures join in large groups to overcome the helpless animals. They first corner them, then attack, en masse, with their sharp, hooked beaks. This is a particularly nasty way to die as the animal is, more or less, eaten alive! There have even been reports of Black Vultures attacking people, though I didn't read any verified reports (but I wasn't looking for that specifically).
I did see a YouTube video of a hawk holding an adult (or nearly adult) cat, holding it with its beak, while perched on a fence. The hawk seemed to be struggling to do so, as though the cat was a bit too heavy for the bird to carry off and I didn't watch to the end.
But the Black Vulture is much larger (about 3 feet tall with a 5-foot wingspan) and should, in theory, have no problem lifting a young or weak or sick cat, and a kitten would pose no problem at all. And the Blacks aren't just aggressive, they seem to have little or no fear of humans as they're also not shy like the Turkey Vultures, making them an even more threatening to deal with.
Unfortunately, for those of us who care for colonies of feral and stray cats, Black 'crazed killer' Vultures are Federally protected, therefore can not be legally shot or killed. But they can be legally harassed, or frightened off.
Vultures, like many bird species, are very intelligent and learn quickly, so often the 'scare' only works for a short time. But there's still a few things you can do to try to get them to find a new home in a place far far away....
For one, if you're in a rural area, AND you are legally allowed, you can fire a shotgun in the air. The loud noise will usually scare them off. Again, this probably only work for a while. You can accomplish the same effect using fire crackers. Just make sure they're loud! You can even try banging two big pots or pans together. Do it hard and loud as you can for optimal affect.
And since you're (luckily?) at home, you can spray water at them with a garden hose--the stronger the spray, the better. Being near home has an advantage with another method as well that I'll mention later.
Most vultures, like Blacks, tend to have favorite perching spots. If you've seen them several times and they appear to sit on the same high spots (poles, rooftops, etc) you can string wire or fishing line tightly about 8 to 12 inches above the spots they perch on. Fix the wire tightly in a horizontal (left-right) direction. When they attempt to land on their favorite seats, they'll hit the line with their feet and either get knocked off balance or just annoyed enough to find another place elsewhere. You can also make their nesting sites feel unsafe. Locate them (if you can) then wait and make threatening/loud sounds and/or gestures when they return. (But, as you know, they're not very scared of us. And don't feel bad about scaring the young ones either--they'll grow up to do the same as the adults.)
Black Vultures nest right on the ground or in low open holes in (usually) dead trees. They've even been known to use abandoned gopher or similar holes or burrows.
I'm presently going through the same thing. Never even saw one of them before here in New Jersey, but they seem to be advancing north, especially along the coast. I think they took 3 kittens (3-1/2 to 4 mos old) who disappeared last week. And the kittens were almost all white in a colony of black and tuxes, so their color didn't give them much of an edge. I couldn't believe the size of these birds! Though you already know, I'll describe them better for others reading this. The adults and young are all black but adults have some white on the underside of the outer ends of the wings (visible when airborne; not sure about the juveniles).
Unlike the adults, who have black skin only on their faces and necks and NO feathers, the young DO have feathers (also black) going almost up to their faces. They start (or end) just behind/at the crowns of their heads.
I know I'm long-winded, but I hate it when I find I left out an important point. I really hope some, even ONE, of these things help, even if it's just for educational purposes. You can always check with your local wildlife control for more info. I don't recall if you said where you live, but some areas allow special permits for those experiencing financial loss from the killings, if there are killings. It's usually for farmers but every place is different.
Now for the other reason being near home is handy. That is, electricity, or access to it...
There's is one sure-fire way to get rid of Black Vultures that they do NOT get used to, according to the experts. But, be warned.
This method involves wiring electrical connections and, if done incorrectly, can lead to serious injury and/or death!!!
I don't know what your capabilities are with respect to knowledge of electricity and DIY tasks in general. If you're not sure about the how-tos, don't chance this,
it may cost you your life.
As an electrician I know once said, "There's two things you should never mess with unless you know what you're doing. That's gas and electric. And when it comes to anything to do with gas, even I call the gas man!"
Take his advice; I did...and still do!!!
So even if you have the slightest doubt about any aspect of it, call a Pro!
This method involves running an electrical barrier or fence around the area(s) you want to keep the birds away from. Hook that up to a motion detector or something similar so it only goes on when something contacts it. Even with that you should still keep your eyes on it periodically in case something else gets caught up in it, an animal you don't want to harm, or even a child, and is being affected. Again, the current isn't enough to kill the bird, (or a person) but it is enough to make it rather unhappy. And very soon after a jolt or two... Voila!
These and other vultures and birds never get used to getting shocked and they'll find a new place pretty quickly. So, problem solved!
Good luck. Let us know how it goes. Have a good day...or try to.
LT
Hi. Its been awhile. I now only have 5 ferals left after staring with about 19. Its been tough.

AS of today, I'm dealing with vultures. They have been around in the morning and usually fly off. Today they stuck around even coming over to the food while cats were eating.

IM very concerned for all our safety.

feathers, the young have black feathers going almost up to their faces. They start just behind or at the crown of their heads
I know I'm long winded, but I hate it when I leave out what I feel is an important point. I really hope some, even ONE, of these things help, even if it's just for educational purposes. You can always check with your local wildlife control. I don't recall if you said where you live, but some areas allow special permits for those experiencing financial loss from the killings, if there
 

klunick

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Off topic but sort of on topic :lol: , I was driving home yesterday and saw at least 15-20 vultures in this person's front yard. As I passed by, I saw they were going after a dead deer that must have gotten hit and made it to the yard. I guess that is one way to get rid of it since the person didn't have woods behind his house to dispose of it. They should make fast work of it.
 

klunick

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Off topic but sort of on topic :lol: , I was driving home yesterday and saw at least 15-20 vultures in this person's front yard. As I passed by, I saw they were going after a dead deer that must have gotten hit and made it to the yard. I guess that is one way to get rid of it since the person didn't have woods behind his house to dispose of it. They should make fast work of it.
Drove by yesterday and they had the entire deer gone! They were still around though picking at what little was left.
 
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