Animals Wow!

Ashburn neighborhood atwitter over vulture invasion

Government experts are coming in to help deal with the problem.

(UPDATE: A veterinarian and wildlife expert has expressed alarm over the plans for vulture deterrence in The Broadlands discussed in this article, saying it could have unintended consequences. You can read her response here.)

The Broadlands neighborhood in Ashburn is dealing with an unusual problem — an invasion of vultures that are roosting in and around the community, damaging homes and leaving messes behind. It’s been happening on and off for more than a decade, but now, the neighborhood is getting serious and bringing in experts to help rid them of the large birds. One local has already dubbed the upcoming event “Vulture Fest.”

Vultures on Rooftops in Ashburn, Virginia

According to an alert sent out to all Broadlands residents, more than 150 Black and Turkey vultures have been “roosting and loafing” near residential areas. The birds are defecating on rooftops, yards, vehicles and playground equipment. They are also damaging homes and cars by picking at rubber seals and roofing materials.

Vultures on roof of a home in The Broadlands. (Image: Steve Kapinos)

Starting March 1, the United States Department of Agriculture will begin a week-long deterrence program aimed at moving the vultures away from The Broadlands. This will include setting off pyrotechnics and fireworks at dusk and using lasers to annoy the birds. Dead vultures collected from other sites will also be hung upside down from trees and towers. Apparently live vultures do not like seeing dead vultures. You can read the full announcement below.

(Photo at top: A vulture sits atop a garbage can near The Broadlands.)



  1. Patsy 3 years ago

    YES FINALLY, this is so great. I live in this neighborhood, and the vultures are EVERYWHERE. The playground is sometimes unusable because of the bird poop or them generally roosting there. bring on the pyrotechnics!!!

  2. Bernie 3 years ago

    Maybe it’s just me but there is something rather metaphorical about a wake of vultures in an affluent Loudoun County neighborhood…

  3. Lizzy 3 years ago

    So they will end up in my neighborhood LOL

    • Lori 3 years ago

      Pretty much. They will leave and go someplace else, probably to the nearest neighborhoods. I’m guessing Brambleton and the Farm. Oh well.

  4. Anne 3 years ago

    How does this solve the problem?
    They will just move to a new neighborhood……maybe Brambleton or Ashburn Farm.
    They will come back next year.
    There has to be a better way.

  5. Bill 3 years ago

    Just so you know who you’re dealing with, the USDA Wildlife Services is the same government agency that indiscriminately uses M-44 cyanide bombs for wolf control. It was one of these killing devices that killed a family dog and severely injured a child.

  6. NetworkJoe 3 years ago

    I heard that in Hamilton, VA black vultures invaded the water tower and they tried all kinds of stuff. Someone from out west recommended using inflated Shamu killer whale balloons on water tower and it got rid of them. I recall reading about this on a local Loudoun new site a while back but can’t find the article now.

  7. Laurna Doffer 3 years ago

    This is not a solution and is instead extremely damaging to the ecosystem. If your kid is stupid enough to approach a vulture (who will in turn projectile vomit at them – a defense mechanism), that’s your own problem. I feel for those who have had their roofs destroyed by them, but scaring them is not solving the root of the problem. People need to stop leaving out loose trash and food for pets. Seeing dead vultures hanging from the trees is nothing short of depressing, and is also scaring off birds, causing full nests to be abandoned, etc. They are also probably resorting to gathering on roofs because their ecosystems are constantly being destroyed with all of the construction going on in the area. Ashburn is really full of some pitiful, selfish, and unintelligent individuals.

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