Residents of a Polk County, Fla., community are demanding help in getting rid of vultures. They say the birds are ripping shingles off rooftops, chewing rubber linings of car doors and windows, and leaving behind an overwhelming stench from their waste.
City officials, though, say little can be done about the hundreds of black and turkey vultures because they are federally protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
City Attorney Sean Parker says vultures have additional protection under a bird-sanctuary ordinance adopted by Bartow in the 1950s.
Officials say scaring off the vultures could be considered a violation. It could result in fees up to $500 a day.
Parker says the city plans to amend the rules, but the details have yet to be worked out.
Hanging likenesses of dead vultures or using noise are options.
"They've multiplied. And multiplied. And multiplied until we've been inundated," Jim Spigner, president of the homeowners association for Floral Lakes, a 55-plus mobile-home community where the birds roost, told the Orlando Sentinel.