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Vultures taking over East Texas lake

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

By Donna McCollum - email

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Good news and bad news at Lake Naconiche in Nacogdoches County. The lake is entering phase two of its construction in a matter of weeks.

When crews arrive, they will likely have to share the shores with a pretty nasty situation.

They're called black-headed vultures. The aggressive birds are messing up the fishing pier at Lake Naconiche.

In the process, upsetting Lake Supervisor George Campbell.

"The droppings, the fecal droppings are acidic, so anything metal, it will attack and eat into that metal," said Campbell.

Campbell has caught them roosting where he doesn't want them.

"And I counted 52. Really a nuisance. They have lice. They just literally destroy everything. All the leaves off the trees," said Campbell.

Despite all the vultures' nasty features and habits, they have clout.

"That's a federally protected bird, right there," said Campbell.

Black-headed vultures are migrants from Mexico. Campbell would like to deport them all.

"We try sound, air horns and radios and loud music and we've flapped towels and done everything and they'll just get up and fly around in a circle and come right back," said Campbell.

Campbell is tired of the nonsense. He's called federal authorities. 

The federal buzzard wrangler is so busy that Nacogdoches County is on a waiting list for his services. In the meantime, authorities are hoping that some upcoming construction will scare the scavengers away.

Phase two construction on Lake Naconiche was approved Thursday. Construction starts July 6.

"Four parking lots, a handicap trail to the fishing pier, underground electrical and a water system into the park,"said Campbell.

Perhaps the black-headed vultures will fly away to less-crowded resorts. The black-headed vulture shouldn't be confused with the Texas-native "turkey vulture", known for its red head.

The black-headed vulture is much more aggressive, known to eat newborn animals and much more difficult to scare away.

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