How to Discourage Turkey Vultures from Roosting on Roof?

how to discourage turkey vultures from roosting

Nobody wants birds such as turkey vultures circling their homes.

While they are perceived to be dangerous to humans these birds are pretty much harmless as they have no incentive to be aggressive with humans.

However, it is still uncomfortable to have such a bird circling, landing, or roosting around your house.

Here is everything you need to know about keeping turkey vultures off your roof.

What Attracts Turkey Vultures?

Before you know how to keep them off, you need to understand why they are circling above your house frequently in the first place.

After that, you can think of getting rid of them.

Do remember that it is not easy to get rid of them because when they like a certain area they don’t leave it.

One major reason they may be around your house is that you have big trees.

This is because such trees are turkey vultures’ best friend.

Their branches are their favorite spot and they love hanging out on them.

Other than that, there may be some other structure that is good for them to sit on.

Of course, it doesn’t make sense to cut down a tree or get rid of a structure just because a turkey vulture is sitting on it.

This is why there are other steps you can take to get rid of them.

How to Identify Them?

Turkey vultures (also referred to as buzzards in the United States) has a red-colored head.

They are mostly 2 1/2 feet tall with a 6-foot wingspan.

However, they only weigh between 2-4 pounds.

Because of their less weight (compared to large size), these birds are able to virtually float in the sky using the thermal currents, with very little energy needed to flap their wings.

Turkey vultures are easy to identify by their legs and feet that are usually coated white.

During very hot days, they will try to cool their body and refresh themselves by releasing urine on their legs.  

And this white color is due to the uric acid of their excrement that has dried.

Keep in mind that these birds are hard to identify by their sound, you may get wrong.

Since Turkey Vultures lack the vocal organs (syrinx), they are mostly silent.

These birds will only make hissing sounds while feeding, fighting, or when they are irritated.

Are These Birds Dangerous?

Turkey Vultures will only eat dead flesh (carrion) and garbage.

So, you can be pretty sure that your pets and children are safe when they are on the roof or when playing outside.

You will be glad to know that the turkey vulture feces contain strong acids that have the ability to kill many types of harmful bacteria and viruses (usually spread by rotting carcasses).

With that said, many people still feel weird when they see the vultures roosting on their building roof or circling overhead.

The only concern with turkey vultures is their vomit which is typically a part of their defense mechanism and should not be worried about.

Plus, they can sometimes be damaging for homes as well as commercial buildings as they can tear down the vent seals, rubber roof liners, roof shingles, and window caulking.

Keep Turkey Vultures Off the Roof

12 Tips to Keep Turkey Vultures Off the Roof?

Here are twelve things you can do to get rid of turkey vultures around your home.

They are not drastic measures and can easily be incorporated by anyone looking to get rid of them:

1. Proper Garbage Disposal

A food source can attract almost any animal.

Birds and other animals love going through garbage to fulfill their nutritional needs.

Turkey vultures do the same. They love picking through smelly garbage to find some source of food such as meat.

If your garbage is somehow open outside your home then it is no surprise that a vulture will come to sift through it.

This is why you must ensure proper garbage disposal.

Dispose of it outside your house in the trash and make sure there is a lid that is covering the can so it doesn’t attract any unwanted birds.

If your garbage drops on the way then be sure to clean it immediately.

Keeping your outdoors neat and clean is the first step to keeping turkey vultures off your property.

2. Get Rid of Any Deceased Animal Near Your Property

If any animal dies, it instantly attracts large birds (like Turkey Vultures, California Condor, etc.) that gather to feed on the flesh.

This is why it is important to check if there is any deceased animal around your property.

This may be the reason that the turkey vulture is circling or roosting on your property.

It probably anticipates another meal soon so you need to keep a check on roadkill that may be around or near your property.

If there is one then call the relevant authorities to take care of this issue so you can live in peace.

3. Clean Your Patio and Barbecue Area

There is nothing more attractive for turkey vultures than the smell of meat.

If you get rid of a deceased animal and it is still circling then check your patio or barbecue area.

It may not be cleaned and the debris can have strong meat smells that may instantly attract birds.

This is why you should always clean your BBQ grill as soon as you are done cooking on it.

This will make sure no animal comes on your property because of the smell of meat, especially birds.

4. Use Motion-Activated Sprinklers to Scare

Many people use this scare tactic to keep small pests off their property.

However, these are just as effective when it comes to birds like buzzards as well.

This is because they hate it when they are sprayed with water and they will instantly leave that place.

Whenever the sprinkler will sense that a bird is nearby, it will shoot a jet of water.

This is a great tactic to scare turkey vultures and keep them off your property for good.

5. Keep Spikes into Consideration

If nothing else seems to work, then try using spikes.

All you will have to do is install it against surfaces where the vulture seems to hang out a lot.

This way they will be deterred because their roosting space will have spikes and they can’t possibly sit on it.

This is a preventative measure and has proven to be a success among many homeowners as it keeps the birds off their roofs and other areas.

6. Call for a Professional Help

If you think you can’t handle this on your own and need some help then it is best to call a professional.

They will not harm the turkey vulture in any way and make sure that it is properly relocated far away from your property.

Do remember that you still need to take these other measures.

This is because even if you call a professional to get rid of one turkey vulture then others might still come in its place if you don’t follow the removal tips.

7. Invest in A Bird Cannon

Loud noises scare birds and this is exactly what a bird cannon does.

It emits a loud noise that resembles a blast to scare away any dangerous or unwanted birds on your property.

The only problem with this device is that because of such a loud noise your neighbors may complain.

This is why you must ensure if they are okay with it and won’t complain about the noise before you make a purchase.

Other than that, over time the birds realize that the noise is not a threat so they may still linger around.

So, the bird cannon is only a temporary solution for your turkey vulture problems.

8. Play Loud Noises on Speakers

Not just any loud noise but bird squawking.

Playing this loudly on your speaker will deter birds because such sounds are known to be disliked by other birds.

They will get away from your property because they will not want to be around such a sound.

However, this may not always work.

This is because if there is something to eat or anything else that is attractive to the turkey vulture then it will still stay regardless of the noise.

9. Polyethylene Nets

These nets are extremely long-lasting and can keep away many types of birds and vultures.

Birds see the net and they avoid making their way in because they know that they may get stuck inside the net and get trapped.

This causes them to go far away from your property.

However, it can also prove to be a problem because if a bird gets stuck or trapped in the net then you will have to find a way to deal with this problem.

This is why it is important to consider this factor before using a netting system.

10. Traps

You have to be careful when choosing a trap because it still needs to be humane and not harm the bird in any way.

It should just be able to lure it so you can safely remove it from your property and relocate it.

Just remember to use proper bait for this.

A slice of smelly meat is the perfect choice because vultures are instantly attracted to the meat that smells a lot.

However, before doing this it is best to call the animal control service near you so they can instruct you on what to do.

They will also offer help with relocation and the vulture will be safely removed in no time.

11. Make Use Of Fireworks

If fireworks are allowed where you live then why not make use of it to scare away turkey vultures?

The loud noise from the firework will instantly deter any bird as they will see the noise as a threat.

One thing to keep in mind here is to not use fireworks when the weather is dry.

This may cause the sparks from the fireworks to start a fire. This is why they should be used with the utmost care.

12. Hose Them

If you see a turkey vulture roosting on your roof or yard then simply turn the hose on them.

They hate being wet and they will instantly leave the place.

This is a great tactic because if you do this every time you see it around your property then it will never come back unless there is something extremely attractive on your property such as dead meat.

Can You Kill A Turkey Vulture

Is it Legal to Kill a Turkey Vulture on Your Roof?

Roosting vultures on your roof can generate a large amount of poop (also referred to as whitewash).

And that’s also a reason why many homeowners and businesses try different methods to discourage vultures from roosting on and around their buildings.

Keep in mind, Turkey and Black Vultures are federally protected and their extermination by shooting (or any other method like poisoning) is only legal if they are identified as a real threat to the community.

You may however need to use nonlethal methods and hire professional exterminators to do the job.

Also, it’s important to dispose of the carcass to avoid attracting other wildlife and an unsanitary environment.  

Other Related Questions:

Do vultures molt?

A mature Turkey Vulture possesses dark plumage with wings that have silver-white shades shining in the sunlight.

Turkey vultures are known to shed some of their feathers (near the tale) in winters or early spring.

This process of molting may last till autumn and the feathers lost are often replaced by new feathers very soon.

Interesting to note that vultures do not shed all their feathers they want to keep flying high in the sky.

And shedding all the feathers will eventually lose their ability to fly.

Why are vultures’ heads bald?

While hunting and feeding on their prey, vultures mostly insert their head inside carcasses.

That’s the reason, turkey vultures don’t have feathers on their head because this will help to keep themselves clean when eating.

Vultures does also have a keen sense of smell. This helps them locate the dead bodies even from miles away.

You may have seen how yellow-headed vultures help in finding dead bodies in various crime serials!

What does a turkey vulture symbolize?

Many people believe that if you see turkey vultures circling your property, you should be prepared for something terrible.

However, despite this symbolism, many times the spiritual meaning of seeing turkey vultures is associated with patience, loyalty, tolerance, protection, innovation, cleansing, adaptability, death, and rebirth.

Are black vulture and turkey vultures the same?

While Turkey vultures have a redhead, Black Vultures have a black or dark gray head.

When seen closely, the feathers of the turkey vulture appear to be dark brown while that of the black vulture appears sooty black.

Another major difference between the two is their preference to catch live prey.

Black Vultures can be seen to kill live prey more frequently, Turkey Vultures will catch live prey on very rare occasions.

The Conclusion

Turkey vultures can be a threat if they are on your roof.

A group of vultures (called a committee, venue, volt, kettle, or wake) can be even more devastating if they prefer to nest somewhere near your property.  

The above twelve ways have proven to be the most effective when it comes to getting rid of turkey vultures.

However, if the buzzards problem around your property is too much because there are too many of them to deal with alone, then you should definitely call a professional.

They have the equipment that is needed to get rid of them safely and you will not have to worry about them being near your property ever again.

Also keep in mind that as these wonderful birds can keep the environment clean and healthy, you should leave them in place if you find them roosting on cell phone towers, trees, or wooded areas near your home.

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