Vultures take over South Daytona neighborhood

Residents say different kind of 'snowbird' come in winter months

SOUTH DAYTONA, Fla. – They're a different kind of snowbird, and residents in one Volusia County neighborhood says the unwelcome visitors are leaving a big mess.

A flock of vultures has taken up residence in the Harbourside Village Community of South Daytona.

"It's a big mess," says resident Miriam Lay, who's lived in South Daytona for nine years.

Lay says the birds normally arrive in early December and only stay a few weeks, but that's not the case this year.

"They just seem to be lingering on and on and on and won't go away," she says.

Lay says she's seen up to 100 of the large birds circling her home. They've torn her pool screen, resulting in hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in damage.

She contacted her homeowner's insurance, but was told the policy does not cover "bird damage."

She is unable to use her pool because of the bird droppings that accumulate daily, regardless of how often she services her pool. Not only is she fearful to go outside, but she doesn't want to let her dog, Boots, onto the porch.

"She's a fat dog, but not a large dog. I don't know if as long as the (bird's) nails are if they would attack," Lay says.

County animal control did assist when some of the birds became trapped in the enclosure. But because vultures are protected, it is illegal to kill or relocate them.

That leaves Lay considering other alternatives, including fireworks or a fake bird to frighten them.

"I'm not going to do anything until the vultures are gone for the year because I think it would be useless," she says.

Some wildlife experts speculate the vultures may have extended their Florida stay this year because of the unusually cold weather up north. And while Harbourside Village is located about seven miles from a landfill, neighbors say vultures have never previously been an issue.

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