Thursday, January 26, 2006

And the skies turned black...

Unhappy with your neighbors? Follow the lead of one local homeowners association and have them forcibly removed.

Balloons, noise makers and even fake dead birds could be used to scare off a flock of more than 130 vultures that has roosted in a Columbia neighborhood and damaged several properties.

On Jan. 24, the Gables of Columbia homeowner's association unanimously voted to hire a private wildlife control firm to remove the birds, said Theodore Hart, president of the community's homeowner's association.

The flock, which contains black and turkey vultures, has roosted in a large evergreen tree, on the roofs of houses and even on cars for roughly a month in the townhouse community, on Carriage House Road in Long Reach.
(An integrated flock? How very Columbia.)

Apparently, in an effort to find a good night’s rest after cleaning up the aftermath of our daily Cars vs. Animals war, the vultures have upset their hosts by having loud parties and, um, pooping on stuff (like cars and roofs). They could at least have the decency to pick up after themselves.

Of course, I’m just having a little fun. I’m sure the flock is a pretty intimidating, if ultimately benign, presence. And because the birds are protected by federal law, residents can have them removed without it weighing heavily on their consciences.

A word of advice, however, to the firm hired to remove the birds: when confronted by a predator or other enemy, the normally passive Turkey Vultures will vomit a foul-smelling, half-digested piece of meat as a deterrent. Just letting you know.

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