Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Unwelcome Residents Make Home in Area; Flock of Vultures Is Roosting in Couple's Trees

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Unwelcome Residents Make Home in Area; Flock of Vultures Is Roosting in Couple's Trees

Article excerpt

Byline: GORDON JACKSON

KINGSLAND - Robert and Hattie Garrett thought they moved into the perfect home in September. But now, they are beginning to think their Kingsland home is for the birds - literally.

A flock of about 50 vultures began roosting in trees in their spacious, fenced-in yard on Colony Pines Drive in January and won't leave.

Robert Garrett, a Brunswick police officer, said his two pit bulls chased the birds when they first congregated on his lawn. But now the dogs ignore them. The birds simply hop away if dogs or humans get too close.

"They will fly up in the trees, but it's as far as they go," he said. "If you didn't know better, you'd think we have a buzzard ranch."

The vultures now sun on the dog house roof and drink from a water bowl inches away from the pit bulls.

"I guess they got tired of fussing and fighting with them," he said of his dogs. "It's like the birds belong there. I guess they got used to the barking."

The birds shredded an all-weather plastic cover on a gas grill that has never been used. The couple won't let their children play in the back yard because of health concerns about the droppings and vomit the birds deposit on the lawn.

Hattie Garrett said she called authorities in January when the birds first arrived, after concluding the vultures weren't going anywhere.

"They don't move unless I stomp at them," she said. "Nothing scares them away. I called 911 and they told me there was nothing they could do about it and to call animal control."

Animal control officials said they couldn't do anything about the birds and cautioned the Garretts not to harm the birds because they are protected under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Garrett said.

Animal control officials suggested using an air horn to frighten the birds when the return to roost each day.

Mayor Kenneth Smith said he has never heard anyone complain about vultures on private property in the city, where he has been a public official more than 20 years. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.