BRIDGEWATER -- A Martinsville neighborhood is trying to figure out how to rid themselves of an unwanted scavenger, as more than 100 vultures have turned the enclave into their fall and winter home.
“I counted 130 vultures perched on only 10 houses and in one tree,” Davis Court resident Tom Friar said. “It is very disconcerting to see 75 vultures in the tree behind my neighbor’s house every morning during the fall and winter.”
Friar said he sees them every day, congregating on rooftops of Perrine, Bittle, Davis Court and Weaver Drive homes.
Wildlife Services told him the best way to get rid of the birds is to hang a vulture carcass upside down in one of the trees, he said.
“And the vultures will freak out and move,” Friar said.
Wildlife Services, he said, will come to the neighborhood and hang the vulture carcass for a fee of $400 to $500, with the process repeated each year.
“The carcass has to be in the tree from November to April, and the family whose tree is picked gets to look at that thing all the time,” Friar said. “Being that this is New Jersey, the amount of dead deer is a great food source for them. They are solely scavengers and do not go after live cats or dogs.”
More than 20 families have said they'd chip in and pay for the vulture carcass to be placed in a tree.
Of course, Friar said, it would be easier to have Bridgewater take control of this process, including paying for it.
Friar said he saw only the occasional vulture just a few years ago.
“Then it was a handful, and I remember thinking, ‘man, that’s a big bird,’” he said. “But each year, more and more have been staying from November until it starts to get warm, and it has become a bit unnerving.”