Thanks to a mild winter, swarms of turkey vultures have made themselves at home in Shelby, N.C., but town residents are wary of their neighbors.
While the birds normally pass through the city while migrating south for the winter, the vultures have been sticking around this year, swarming lawns and making residents nervous.
“We are just not getting cold enough to push them along,” Kristen Duren, an intern with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension, the state agriculture service, told ABC’s Charlotte, N.C. affiliate WSOC-TV. “What used to be five to 10 birds is going up to 150 birds.”
Joan Schmoutz, who has lived in the same home in Shelby since 1963, told ABCNews.com that the vultures normally flock in the mornings and the evenings.
“They come and they’re there every morning,” she said.
“In the morning, they throw out their wings and catch the sun,” Schmoutz said. “They’re not a nuisance in that way, because I like to watch them. But they do a job on the yard.”
Schmoutz said the birds mostly stay in the trees, but estimates that there are “over a hundred [birds] on any given day” in her neighborhood.
Schmoutz said she first started noticing the turkey vultures flocking to the area two years ago.
She said she received a survey in her mailbox about removing the birds from of the neighborhood, but in terms of progress, “we haven’t seen anything yet.”