Fire Trucks Help to Deal with Turkey Vulture Problem in Kent Co. - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Fire Trucks Help to Deal with Turkey Vulture Problem in Kent Co.

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The Felton Fire Department on Tuesday evening tried to help a neighborhood dealing with a turkey vulture problem. (Photo: WBOC) The Felton Fire Department on Tuesday evening tried to help a neighborhood dealing with a turkey vulture problem. (Photo: WBOC)

FELTON, Del. (WBOC) - Local firefighters and state officials went to new lengths Tuesday night to help a Felton neighborhood dealing with a big, bad bird problem.

In September, WBOC reported on the Chimney Hill neighborhood, which has been overrun with turkey vultures in recent years. And people living there say the problem has gotten much worse in the past year.

The birds are more than just a nuisance to the neighborhood. They cause property damage. They vomit as a defense, and it smells terrible. And that's why neighbors want them gone.

On a cold, overcast September morning, WBOC stood outside with James Sullivan and watched the birds fly over head, watched birds perched on roofs, watched birds hanging around the neighborhood.

"It looks like a scene from the movie birds," he said at the time. "I lost track. There are at least 100 birds."

Sullivan said nothing has changed in the past two months.

"No, it hasn't. Still the same. Still getting birds. Still coming out in the morning. Still chasing them off the roofs," Sullivan said.

But maybe, just maybe, things will start to change now. State Sen. Dave Lawson, R-Marydel, has been aware of the vultures for a while, and he's trying to help. On Tuesday evening he brought out the Felton Fire Department. Firefighters used lights and sirens to scare away the birds.

"That should be put them in the air for tonight at least. Then we'll have to go back and see what we have to do," Lawson said. "We're hoping that we can harass them to the point that they don't come back. It will take a while. It won't be a one shot deal. There will have to be some harassment that the neighbors keep up."

Neighbors have tried lots of things to get the birds to go, including suggestions from the federal wildlife officials. Nothing has really worked so far. The birds keep coming back. Sullivan is cautiously optimistic about this attempt.

"I hope it works," he said. "I think it's going to have be an on-going thing. We scare them off in the morning, and they just come back the next day."

You may be asking - why not just shoot the birds? That is illegal. Turkey vultures are a federally protected species. To boot, they have no natural predators.

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