A city in western Iowa has upped the ante in its battle with some pesky, messy birds. Authorities in Atlantic have been trying to disperse flocks of turkey vultures congregating on the city’s communications tower, a church tower and trees downtown. The birds leave behind a huge mess.
The battle began with the fire department using a hose on the large, black-winged birds. That worked for a little while, but the vultures were persistent in claiming their "turf." On Friday, the city brought in what they hope is a more persuasive weapon.
Cass County Chief Deputy Brian Rink and Atlantic Police Officer Paul Woods used "flash bangs" from the Department of Natural Resources to try and scare the vultures away. Rink says they counted 83 birds on the communications tower before they started firing away. The officers are not authorized to shoot the birds, just near the birds. Rink says residents in town don’t seem to mind all the noise created by the guns.
"Most people know what’s going," Rink says, "so they appreciate it…trying to get the birds off their property and keep the do-do off their cars." Rink says they have about 500-rounds of commercial "Shell crackers," or "Flash bangs." He hopes that’ll be enough.