- Associated Press - Monday, September 28, 2015

EUREKA SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) - City Council members are expected to discuss the possibility of relocating hundreds of vultures already roosting in a wooded neighborhood in Eureka Springs.

Migratory black vultures arrive in the state by the thousands in September and October, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/1OBZenN ) reported. The birds, which are more aggressive than native red-headed turkey vultures, stay through the winter before leaving in the spring.

Mayor Robert “Butch” Berry plans to bring up the issue at the City Council meeting Monday. He said he’s considering using sonic cannons to shoo away the birds, as the city did when faced with a similar vulture infestation in 2007. Some residents complained about the noise caused by the cannons, so Berry said he will ensure the public is informed before any noisy equipment is used.

Although some residents of the wooded neighborhood have complained about the vultures, others don’t mind them and think the area is a good venue.

Beth Withey enjoys watching the vultures from her home and doesn’t want to see them evicted from the neighborhood.

“We’re not really strange people in goth attire or anything, but we enjoy watching all species of birds,” she said.

The number of vultures rooting in the neighborhood varies each year, according to Joyce Roberts, who said there were considerably fewer vultures last year than the 600 or so she counted in 2013.

“They take to the air as a group at or near sunrise and sunset,” she said. “They circle, swoop and dive. It’s kind of creepy but gives a great effect on Halloween night.”

Vultures can’t legally be killed without permission from the federal government because they’re protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com

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