Vultures invade south Florida

Dec. 8, 2011 at 1:03 PM
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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Vultures are staging their annual attack on Fort Lauderdale, Fla., as they migrate south looking for easy food pickings, city officials say.

During their annual South Florida migration from October to March the carrion-eating birds soar overhead in lazy circles, disturb neighborhoods and generally behave like unruly guests, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Wednesday.

Black and turkey vultures, members of the stork family with wingspans of nearly 6 feet, come to the subtropics in search of rotting flesh, experts say.

"Food resources are much more readily available down south than they are up north," Eric Tillman, a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said. "It's hard to eat a frozen carcass."

Once in Florida the birds feast on roadkill, trash, or even fish washed up on beaches.

Most residents find the visitors anything but welcome.

"There are some neighborhoods, to use the words of the people that call me, that are terrorized by the vultures," Tillman said. "The birds spill out of their roost site and loaf around in residential neighborhoods on rooftops."

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