Buzzards cause neighborhood hundreds in property damage

AUGUSTA, Ga.-- Buzzards are causing some big problems in Edgefield. Neighbors have spotted them in their yards and on the roofs of their homes and cars on Bluebird Lane. Short of shooting them, neighbors say they've tried everything to get them to leave. Vultures are federally protected birds of prey, so you can't kill them. They've spotted as many as 5 at one time on Bluebird Lane.

Evelyn McCullough lives on Bluebird Lane, and she says, "Honey, they are unreal. They sitting on your house like they might pay rent."

Earline Coates also calls Bluebird Lane home. She says, "They've been on my car there. Doing number two and all that."

Their 'number two' is ruining houses, cars, and Angela Flemings new ramp. She says, "They leave behind all this white stuff. It's everywhere. On my ramp, on my roof."

Along with all the 'white stuff' they leave behind, they've also been racking up the car repair bills. The buzzards peck, scratch, and eat whatever they can find.

Coates says, "They ate my windshield wipers. I had to get some new ones to go on there."

McCullough showed us pecks and scratches all over her car. Some neighbors even bought car covers to keep the buzzards at bay.

Emma Burton says, "They have scratched up our cars. I've had those repaired, and our friends, when they come over, they eat the rubber off the windshields."

Along with causing a lot of property damage and a big mess, these buzzards are bold, and they're making themselves right at home. Angela Flemings says, "I heard a knock at the door, and when I went to check, it was a buzzard." He was pecking at her front glass door. She shooed him away with a broom, but the unwelcomed guests always seem to come right back, no matter what they do.

"We've tried fireworks, we've also been using the water hose on them, but nothing seems to help," Burton says.

They're just hoping the birds will fly this coop and find someone else to bother. DNR recommends using fireworks, beating pots and pans, or using motion sensing water sprinklers. If all of that fails, the most effective way to get rid of them is something called a bird effigy, where you hang a fake buzzard upside down from a tree nearby. It acts as sort of a warning.

Officials say buzzards are good at adapting to humans being around, and for whatever reason they like rubber off of cars. They're also seeing a boost in the buzzard population, especially in South Carolina. They say it is likely because vultures don't have a lot of natural predators.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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