Scarecrows are not the only option for those wishing to ward birds off their property.
Brickyard Plantation, a residential neighborhood in Mt. Pleasant, has enlisted the U.S. Department of Agriculture to hang dead vultures on in its property to scare off other annoying avians.
“The effigies are placed there by the US dept of agricultural [sic] at our request to deter the swarming turkey bulges that eat the caulking from our pool decks,” said Brickyard Plantation community manager Victoria Austin in an e-mail obtained by the City Paper. “Please do not remove.”
According to USDA Wildlife Services state director Noel Myers, the office has been working with the community for a number of years.
“Effigies can be a very specific way to disperse black vultures,” Myers said. “They’re notorious for pulling windshield wiper blades off of cars and the rubber gasket off windshields, as well as scratching up cars.”
And yes, they’re 100 percent real.
“A lot of our effigies are from other projects we’ve done in the state, so a lot of times we’ll just take a carcass and we’ll get it hung in those areas,” Myers added.
The birds are usually left hanging until they deteriorate naturally. A single one is effective for an average of six to eight months.
“We, a lot of times, encourage loud noises like pyrotechnics or use lasers kind of like little light pointers or actual lasers that we use … to harass vultures,” Myers said. “We’re just trying to move them to a location where they won’t create a problem for somebody else.”
The federal executive department has also hung the effigies in areas of New Jersey and Virginia.
So if you’re going for a morning jog near Brickyard Plantation, try not to be frightened by the ominous sight of a hanging, dead vulture. She’s just there to scare off the ones who made it.