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Hi Vince!

I didn't know whether to laugh or cuss when I read the piece about the vulture problems! Sure, I can understand why people would be upset if hundreds of vultures were roosting on their buildings and defecating all over and causing damage to plastic trim, etc., but they better be careful about using any chemical methods to discourage them without knowing for sure what the effect will be on other birds and wildlife. I did laugh when I read about the so-called "predation" by vultures on livestock. The vultures are hanging around the newborn calves to get at the AFTERBIRTH! And if you read the results of the interactions between vultures and cattle that were actually observed, in only one instance was there anything that looked like predation and I'll bet that those birds were also trying to get the afterbirth, perhaps right off the calf, so it looked like they were attacking it. Of course vultures will dine on stillborn calves and those that die from other complications and when the cattleman sees them feeding on the bodies he immediately blames them for the deaths and vultures become, in his eyes, "dangerous livestock predators". As far as I know, vultures will not attempt to feed on any creature until it is stone-cold dead! Vultures do a tremendous job of cleaning up dead carcasses and other offal but most people don't appreciate them. I wish them luck in discouraging the birds from roosting on buildings but I for one, hope they never get any government permits to shoot or otherwise destroy these ancient and useful birds. 

Roy Peterson
Deltona
Volusia County
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  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Vincent Lucas 
  To: [log in to unmask] 
  Sent: Thursday, February 08, 2001 9:01 AM
  Subject: [FLORIDABIRDS-L] Black Vulture Nuisance


  Greetings:

  On another out-of-state listserv, I read about research being conducted
  in Florida to study the threat of Black Vultures to livestock,
  specifically newborn calves as well as property depradation by roosting
  vultures. Methods are being developed to help alleviate the problem using
  various methods including chemical irritants and lethal shooting. These
  methods seem a bit draconian to me. To read about this on the web, go to
  this URL:

  http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ws/nwrc/VultureProjectPage.htm

  Does anyone know more about this research and how effective these methods
  are?

  Vince Lucas
  Naples