Leaders in a southwest Iowa town are considering the use of fire hoses to blast away large, pesky birds, hoping they’ll fly away to some neighboring town to nest — and make a mess. Atlantic Mayor John Krogman says the turkey vultures, or buzzards, are loud, they’re ugly, and they leave behind sticky, stinky reminders.
Krogman says: "The buzzards sit on the courthouse tower don’t only sit on the tower, they sit pretty much everywhere, including two houses down from me. There’s usually 25 or 30 of them in that tree — every single night, all night long. They cover houses. They cover cars. They cover the street." The mayor and city administrator Ron Crisp have been in contact with the Department of Natural Resources to find a solution to the problem.
Crisp says a DNR wildlife biologist offered one solution. Crips says to put spikes on the tower to make it uncomfortable for the birds and they’d go somewhere else to roost. A suggestion was made to have the Atlantic Fire Department shoot water from their hoses into the trees to shoo the birds away. The council is weighing that option.
While it would likely only force the birds to move to another neighborhood, city councilman Steve Livengood said it was better than doing nothing at all. Livengood says, "If we move ’em, then we hose ’em all the way to Red Oak or whatever we need to do." Mayor Krogman adds, "Go the other way — let’s send ’em to Harlan." Killing the birds is not an option as they are a federally protected species. A permit could be obtained to destroy two of the birds and hang their carcasses in the trees as a deterrent to roosting.