USDA wildlife services trying to find safe solution to vulture problem in Buckhannon

UPSHUR COUNTY, W.Va. (WDTV)-- "They've been here for the past three or fours years, they've appeared all of a sudden."

Vultures were the subject of the last Upshur county commission meeting and now Buckhannon is taking steps to make sure that the vultures on Victoria Hill leave the area.

Vultures were the subject of the last Upshur county commission meeting and now Buckhannon is taking steps to make sure that the vultures on Victoria Hill leave the area.

"Black vultures are a migratory bird, they traditionally have inhabited the south eastern United States, said John Forbes. "For various reasons, they've expanded their range in the last few years and in West Virginia we're really starting to see an increase in the population."

State director for the United States Department of Agriculture wildlife services, John Forbes says that vultures will pick at cars and roof tops which can cause damage to property. Forbes says the amount of birds that are in Upshur county creates a nuisance for residents.

"When they do get into these big flocks, we see them pick at vehicles and we see them pick at roofs things like that can cause damage to certain degrees," said Forbes.

Long-time resident of Victoria hill, Thomas Keely, says the vultures are beautiful in the sky but says he doesn't want anything to do with them.

"They're a nuisance in a way when they are around," said Keely. "Hoping they find a new location when they come back."

Forbes says the USDA is still working on a strategy that's best for the vultures in Upshur county but says they will use a non lethal method.

"We'll try harassment with lazors and pyrotechnics things like that initially," said Forbes. "Then we get more invested with management options as we go but a lot of the times we see that those non-lethal options disperse the roosts..."