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Keep those Buzzards off of Your Roof

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According to the United States Department of Agriculture, vultures (also know as “buzzards”) have even been known to eat and damage roof shingles. Their feces on the roof can emit a strong odor, and their destructiveness can cause expensive damage on shingles and rubber roofs. Fortunately, there are several simple and effective ways to encourage the vultures on your roof to relocate.

  • Keep your property as sanitary as possible. Vultures are attracted to dead animal carcasses and the afterbirth of farm animals. If you live on a farm, remove or burn dead animals and afterbirth quickly. Check wooded property for deer carcasses and other deceased wildlife that may be attracting the birds.


  • Hang a realistic vulture effigy from the roof or a nearby tree. If you have a flat roof, you can hang the effigy from a tripod sitting directly on the roof. If the birds believe the dead vulture is real, they will assume the area is unsafe and stay away.


  • Stretch a piece of wire or fishing line tightly across the roof, 6 to 8 inches above the area where the birds perch. Stretch the line tightly enough that the birds are unable to push it down and perch on top of it. It must also be high enough that the vultures can’t straddle it.


  • Make frequent loud noises at dusk when the birds are getting ready to roost for the night. You can yell or clap your hands loudly to try to disturb or frighten the vultures. Firecrackers and shotgun blasts can be used to more strongly encourage the birds’ departure, but check with your local authorities first to make sure that you are not violating any local laws. Warn your neighbors of your intentions as well.


  • Stay within the law. Vultures are protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. This means that you may not use any lethal means of control without first trying other methods and then acquiring legal permission to terminate nuisance birds. Permits are also required to trap and relocate the birds or disturb their nests.


Turkey Vulture roof damage


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