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Posted on: April 28, 2021

KDWPT to address turkey vulture issue in NE El Dorado

Turkey Vultures in tree

Residents in northeast El Dorado may hear some loud noises as the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) addresses an issue with turkey vultures that have been roosting near the Terrace and Lawndale area.

Roost sites can consist of just a couple of birds to over 100 birds, which can cause conflicts depending on where they are roosting.

In a letter the KDWPT is sending out to residents in the area, they state, “While there are no major health concerns to humans, the vultures’ large talons can cause property damage if roosting on houses or city structures, and their droppings can be offensive to home owners due to smell and white-washing on cards and houses.”

According to the KDWPT, this particular roost has been a traditional sport for the turkey vultures for several years, but the number of birds is now a nuisance to the owners of the trees and neighbors and they have received several complaints.

The KDWPT letter states, “The owners of the trees, the City of El Dorado and KDWPT will work together to try to deter the birds from roosting in the trees. A few of these methods will not affect anyone else in the neighborhood and will just involve hanging things in the roost trees to confuse the birds. However, there is one technique we will try that will involve noise makers that you may hear from time to time. We have received approval from the city and police department to do this type of hazing and we just wanted to be sure you are aware of it. These noise makers will only be set off about one to two hours before sunset, up to one hour after sunset or 10 p.m., whichever comes earlier. It is our hope that we will only need to do this for a couple evenings in a row, once or twice over the next year, and the birds will eventually find another roost outside of town. If these techniques do not work, we will have to return to the drawing board and discuss other options.”

Turkey vultures are protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty act, and local state laws and regulations. They are managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Kansas Wildlife and Parks. The birds, their nests, and eggs cannot be killed or destroyed without a special permit. Fortunately, there are no nesting birds, so a couple management techniques can be applied, provided birds themselves are not harmed.

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