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Posted at 7:18 PM ET, 01/20/2011

Invasion of the vultures (continued)

By Meredith Lynch, Chantilly

Regarding the Jan. 16 Metro article “Birds of a feather, disgusting together”:

We moved to Chantilly almost nine years ago. It was the first house my husband and I had owned, and we were ecstatic (but inexperienced) about living in a house with tall trees and a sizable back yard. During our first fall, we noticed a small flock of vultures roosting in our trees. Having grown up in New York City, I thought they were wonderful and interesting. I would greet them in the evening and watch them fly off not too long after sunrise. They stayed the whole winter.

One morning in March, we found a rabbit head on our deck.  That night, for the first time in months, when I looked up in my trees for the huge black shapes, I saw nothing. They had left for the year. I was both relieved and devastated.

For years, the vultures would come by for the fall and winter and leave in the spring. But two years ago they stayed through the summer and winter, their numbers and the amount of their excrement doubling, making our yard and deck unusable. Many mornings they would be on our roof, and some even played with our dog’s toy. The charm had definitely worn off.

A few months ago, we decided to try to scare them off. First we tried loud noises, which didn’t work. Finally we bought two powerful, high-beam flashlights. Every night, just as the vultures were settling down, we would shine the lights up into the trees and make noise. After a few weeks, they were gone. We haven’t seen any since. I am hopeful that they have moved on, but come this fall I’ll be checking those treetops again, flashlight in hand.

By Meredith Lynch, Chantilly  | January 20, 2011; 7:18 PM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Virginia, wildlife  
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As the author of the pro-vulture letter to the editor, I commend Meredith for her thoughtful letter. What I appreciated is that she has brought up a successful way to discourage vultures from roosting simply by the use of powerful high beam flashlights.
Whether finding an alternative roost site or using nondeadly and successful ways to discourage them from roosting on houses seems like a solution that the Dept of Agriculture needs to take seriously. What appalls me most is the ongoing senseless slaughter and the lack of respect for native wildlife.

Posted by: deborahrichie | January 21, 2011 3:05 PM | Report abuse

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