Thursday, July 31, 2014

Boat Ramp Buzzards?

When I first saw the release below from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, I thought that by "boat ramp buzzards", they meant thieves or vandals breaking into cars. I was surprised to find out that the NCWRC meant exactly what the headline indicated - buzzards of the avian variety. Specifically, they mean turkey buzzards in the Piedmont of NC and black buzzards further east in the state.

It seems that the buzzards know a good place to find food when they see it and are hanging out at boat ramps for easy pickings. Unfortunately, they have been both damaging cars and pooping everywhere. Given that they are Federally-protected as raptors, you can't shoot or otherwise harm them. Thus, you just have to make boat ramps unattractive to them.

From the NCWRC:
RALEIGH, NC- The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is requesting public assistance in a battle against boat ramp buzzards.

Buzzards, which are also known as vultures, have damaged cars, trucks and boat trailers at some Piedmont boating access areas. Damage and nuisance issues created by boat ramp buzzards include scratches on vehicle hoods and roofs, exterior moldings pulled apart and windshield wipers torn away, as well as large amounts of droppings.

To scare vultures away from boat ramps, Wildlife Commission staff is using visual and audial deterrents, including pyrotechnics and replicas of dead vultures.

The Commission requests the public assist in the effort to reduce vulture visitation by keeping access areas clean and removing trash and food remnants. Anglers should not leave behind fish guts, unused bait and fish carcasses, including in the nearby waterway.

Many boaters are covering vehicles with tarps or covers to prevent damage. Others are using alternate public boating access areas to reach the same waterway.

Vultures are scavengers, but they also are federally protected birds of prey. Two species are found in North Carolina - the turkey vulture, common in the mountains and Piedmont, and the black vulture, more common in the eastern region.

H/T The Outdoor Wire


  1. Interesting that dead vultures would be a deterrent to a species that is an eater of carrion.
    Dead crows, on the other hand, would have the opposite result. The live crows will gather near the dead one to hold a sort of watch/encouragement in case the crow recovers.

  2. Buzzards are considered raptors by the Feds - what hippie dreamed up that BS? A back-hoe attachment on a tractor can provide a quick-burial...
    At least you don't have an near-extinct failed species like the Condor hanging around.