Black Vultures, Helpful or Harmful?

The Black Vulture population, one of two breeds of vultures common in Ohio, is on the rise. But that's not what has people talking. Unfortunately it's the black vultures aggressive and destructive behavior that has homeowners and farmers all across Ohio talking.

Black Vultures are typically the 'clean up crew' for Ohio's forests and farmlands. They eat carrion, a fancy word for roadkill and other dead animals. With the bird population on the rise however, carrion has been in short supply.

Many Black Vultures are beginning to kill small mammals and rodents to meet their nutritional needs. The problem arises when Black Vultures cannot find enough rodents and begin attacking household pets and young livestock. There have even been reports of Black Vultures 'hanging around' until an animal gives birth, then attacking the newborn animal.

Black Vultures have been causing problems for homeowners as well by pecking through shingles, seals around windows, even causing damage to cell phone towers.

While the Black Vulture may have a destructive side, they play an important part in keeping Ohio clean. Without the Black Vulture batting clean up, Ohio's forests and highways would be littered with carrion.

If you are having problems with Black Vultures in your area, please contact the USDA's Wildlife Services Department at 1-866-487-3297.


Gross, W.H.. "The dark truth about Black Vultures." Country Living July 2008: 42-43.



Hammer Head said...

Is the photo of a Hide-A-Way Hills vulture or a zoo vulture?

Carrie Augustus - Virtual Assistant said...

This particular vulture is a zoo vulture. Despite my best efforts, I have been unable to properly capture a Hide-A-Way Hills vulture on film.

We are always accepting photo submissions if anyone has a photo they would like to share!