Thursday, November 30, 2017

USDA has been hanging dead vultures to ward off live ones in Mt. Pleasant

The birds are usually left until they deteriorate naturally

Posted by Adam Manno on Thu, Nov 30, 2017 at 6:12 PM

click to enlarge Hanging vulture effigies at Brickyard Plantation in Mt. Pleasant. - PROVIDED
  • Provided
  • Hanging vulture effigies at Brickyard Plantation in Mt. Pleasant.
Scarecrows are not the only option for those wishing to ward birds off their property.

Brickyard Plantation, a residential neighborhood in Mt. Pleasant, enlisted the U.S. Department of Agriculture to hang three dead vultures on its property.

"The effigies are placed there by the US dept of agricultural [sic] at our request to deter the swarming turkey bulges [sic] that eat the caulking from our pool decks," said Brickyard Plantation community manager Victoria Austin in an e-mail obtained by the City Paper. "Please do not remove."


According to USDA Wildlife Services state director Noel Myers, the office has been working with the community since 2015.

"Effigies can be a very specific way to disperse black vultures," Myers said. "They're notorious for pulling windshield wiper blades off of cars and the rubber gasket off windshields, as well as scratching up cars."

And yes, they're 100 percent real.

"A lot of our effigies are from other projects we’ve done in the state, so a lot of times we’ll just take a carcass and we’ll get it hung in those areas," Myers added.

The birds are usually left until they deteriorate naturally. A single one is effective for an average of six to eight months.

"We, a lot of times, encourage loud noises like pyrotechnics or use lasers, kind of like little light pointers, or actual lasers that we use ... to harass vultures," Myers said. "We’re just trying to move them to a location where they won’t create a problem for somebody else."

The live vultures nest near a radio tower behind the Boone Hall farm store, causing damage when they migrate to Brookyard Plantation.

"They're protected by Wildlife, so we just have to deter them," explained Brickyard Plantation homeowner's association president Joanna Hoover.

The federal executive department has also hung the effigies in areas of New Jersey and Virginia. The vultures are not currently in any other Charleston-area community.

So if you're going for a morning jog near Brickyard Plantation, try not to be frightened by the ominous sight of a hanging, dead vulture. She's just there to scare off the ones who made it.


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