A massive group of vultures has invaded a New Jersey town, taking over neighborhood trees, rooftops, and gardens.
Spooked residents, who compare the unsettling sight to a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, are joining forces in an attempt to rid their neighborhood of the swarming pests.
The vultures have congregated in the Martinsville section of Bridgewater, much to the horror of homeowners.
“We can hear nothing but the sound of feathers ruffling outside and I’m afraid they might at some point attack my son,” resident Jessica Guarino told NewJersey.com.
“They are extremely aggressive and don’t seem bothered by me videoing them fighting from a mere ten feet away.”
The giant birds, which boast wingspans of nearly five feet, have been spotted in the area before. However, destruction of their natural habitat by recent superstorm Sandy may have created a greater influx of vultures than in years past.
There is also the possibility that an increase in bird population led part of a particular vulture colony to spread out into less crowded areas.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, a vulture invasion of this size can lead to numerous problems for homeowners. The birds can create property damage by tearing away building elements such as roof shingles, window caulking, and vent seals.
In addition, the accumulation of feces from birds roosting on electrical structures have been known to result in power outages.
The US Department of Agriculture is now offering an effective, although gruesome, way to deter the vultures from migrating in Bridgewater. The agency suggests using effigies to scare the giant creatures away from their new hangout.
According to Nicole Rein, a wildlife biologist at the US Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services office near Atlantic City, the most effective method for discouraging the unwanted birds is to hang a vulture carcass upside down from nearby trees.
“The vulture effigy is a visual deterrent to the birds for that season but they may come back in future seasons,” Rein explained to NewJersey.com.
The effigies require federal and state permits, which can be provided by officials for roughly $400 to $500 per carcass. The majority of the residents affected by the vulture invasion have agreed to contribute to the effigy project and Rein plans to hang them in the neighborhood starting Monday.
How would you react to a vulture invasion like the one troubling New Jersey residents?