Friday, December 19, 2014

Bullock County Battling Buzzard Problem
By Brittany Bivins

They may be known as nature's scavengers, but people in Union Springs say it's the living they're picking on now.

Bullock County residents say the vulture population has grown out of control in heavily populated areas within the last several months.

"Everybody kind of has a bad feeling about the buzzards, because of what their purpose in life is, to eat dead things, so people in the community are annoyed by them," said Larry Parker, Wayne Farms Operations Manager in Union Springs.

The City of Union Springs says it's working with Wayne Farms, a poultry processor, to fire a noise cannon to try to disperse the birds.

They say the buzzards are congregating on top of local buildings and businesses. Some local farmers say they even pose a danger to live animals.

"They go into the pasture and kill the calf, calf had just been born. What they do is knock his eyes out, is the first they did, then they go to the back and kill him," said Henry Thomas, a local farmer.

George Tabb, Bullock County Extension Coordinator, says the birds aren't new to the area. "I don't think this year is any larger than years past, so they've been around but when they move into congregated areas, you have more people complain about them," he said.

The vultures are federally protected, so they can't be hurt or captured. City leaders say they're waiting to see if the noise cannon will force the birds to leave the area before making any other plans.