U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version

February 2004


Published in OHIO J SCI 104 (5):136-138, 2004.


Increasing populations of turkey vultures (Cathartes aura) and black vultures (Coragyps atratus) cause concerns for human health and safety in areas where large roosting concentrations occur. Dead bird effigies are one proposed method of dispersing roosting vultures. In 1999 and 2000, tests were conducted using a supine and hanging turkey vulture effigy (a taxidermy mount) to disperse a vulture roost in a tower in northern Ohio. In all tests, fewer (P ≤ 0.04) vultures were observed in the roost during the treatment period when compared to the pretreatment period. In tests ending in fall migration the post-treatment period differed (P < 0 .01) from the pretreatment period. In tests ending in summer the pre- and post-treatment periods did not differ (P >0.23). Vulture effigies are promising tools that may be used as part of integrated programs to disperse vultures from problem roosting sites.