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Turkey vultures invade New Jersey town

By John Craven, Reporter, JCraven@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 08 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 09 2013 05:15:24 AM CDT

One New Jersey town is living a Hitchcock nightmare.

FRENCHTOWN, N.J. -

One New Jersey town is living a Hitchcock nightmare. It's all because of an invasion of vultures.

In normally quaint Frenchtown, Hunterdon County, the harmonies of kids playing guitar on the street have been replaced by something else.

"I have a shovel and a hammer, said Nancy Roselli.

She is clanging them together, up and down her street, to get rid of thousands of black and white turkey vultures that have decided to make Frenchtown their new home.

"They're defecating all over my property, ripping up my roof," said Roselli.

Neighbors have tried nearly everything.

"I've come out here with air horns in the morning," said Laura Benedetti. "I've come out and there's been like 40 or 50 in the lawn, all over the cars."

If you want an idea just how huge these birds are, you should see the huge feathers they leave behind. And that's not all.

Benedetti showed us a home video showing a swarm of vultures attacking her lawn chairs and trash cans.

"My blanket and towel have been tried to be eaten," she says on the video.

Benedetti said humans and pets can also be targets.

"They'll definitely swoop down at you," she said. "They've actually gone after my neighbor's cat."

The issue has gotten the attention of Frenchtown's mayor.

"These are somewhat uninvited guests," said Mayor Warren Cooper.

The problem is so bad, the borough convened a meeting with federal wildlife officials to come up with solutions.

"The solution of choice now is to hang an effigy, a vulture effigy -- either a constructed vulture upside down or an actual vulture that's been killed," said Cooper.

Clanging metal-on-metal is another solution. And neighbors said it does -- slowly -- appear to be working.

"Oh, it's so successful, it's amazing," said Roselli.

But the question is, once the birds leave quaint little Frenchtown, where will they roost next?