Black Vultures are large raptors usually seen in flocks and are commonly confused with the Turkey Vulture. Their looks are deceptive because their body size is about the same, but the aggressive Black Vultures often drive Turkey Vultures away from food.
They are protected by the Migratory Bird Act and are an important part of the food chain because they feast mainly on carrion (the decaying flesh of dead animals). At times they also eat eggs of other birds, turtles, lizards, and can eat newborn young of larger mammals.
These aggressive birds are clearly a threat to other animals, but unfortunately – they can also be very destructive to personal property. They enjoy picking on the rubber seals commonly found on car windows, windshield wipers, and campers to name a few. To deter destructive behavior on MWCD property, staff routinely use noise makers and lights, have eliminated dead trees and stumps where they like to roost, and have hung effigies in areas where they like to flock.
The MWCD has received a permit from the United States Department of Interior Fish and Wildlife Service to take 40 Black Vultures annually. While the repair of damaged property falls on the owner, we would like to track damages to determine if additional permits can or should be obtained.