An abundance of road kill, and warm weather, means an abundance of vultures hanging around this winter.
Turkey vultures (red headed) clean up road kill alongside the slightly more aggressive black vultures (black headed). Serving as scavengers and cleaning up carcasses serves humans well Their scavenging may minimize disease. It certainly removes a good number of animal carcasses that would otherwise be lying around.
Although the turkey vultures are scavengers more than killers, both turkey and black vultures may wreak havoc. Domestic animals scatter under the birds’ large shadows. Black vultures have been known to kill small livestock. Humans may get the urge to swerve when the large-wingspan birds get a little too close to the road, and pilots face aircraft bird strike concerns.
With vultures’ good and bad traits, it is important to note that killing black vultures or turkey vultures is prohibited under the US Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. When in doubt, talk with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission regarding how to keep vultures from damaging your livestock or property.