50 buzzards roosting on Van cell tower - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

50 buzzards roosting on Van cell tower

A lone vulture waits for his buddies on a Van tower. Photo by Jamey Boyum KLTV. A lone vulture waits for his buddies on a Van tower. Photo by Jamey Boyum KLTV.

Vultures or as many East Texans call them, buzzards can become a nuisance when too many roost in one place.

That has happened in the city of Van on a cell phone tower located on Cedar Street.

This week federal employees arrived to encourage the birds to go elsewhere.

At first glance, it’s just a tower, but a closer look shows it’s a roost. Sergeant Melissa Davis with the Van Police Department says it’s a problem that’s grown.

“For several years buzzards have been getting on the tower,” Davis said.

For the past few evenings around sunset, the PD has been getting reports of what sounded like gunfire in the area.

“So we had an officer go out there and check so we put a public service announcement out on out Facebook page to let the citizens know that there’s nothing to worry about,” Davis explained.

It turned out to be government officials using snare guns.

“Well, we were notified earlier in the week that the USDA was going to be out on Cedar Street,” Davis stated.

The USDA says the guns have an explosive charge.

“They’re trying to get them to go somewhere else,” Davis said.

Back in 2009, Gladewater had the same problem on their water tower. They hired a specialist, but it didn’t seem to help that much.

Now, eight years later they’re just gone. The city says they really don’t know why.

The Van tower now has over 20 buzzards. 

“Probably 50 or 60,” Davis said.

Of course, during the day there are only a few stragglers. Most are away feeding. Their droppings can cause damage to equipment, and it’s not very sanitary.

“I believe they’re just trying to get them out of there because they are a nuisance,” Davis added.

The USDA has apparently been upsetting the roost. Maybe if any are left they will just move on like they did in Gladewater; hopefully not to Gladewater.

The Van Police Department says they did have complaints about vultures on a nearby duplex a few years ago, but nothing recently. They say the USDA will finish up by the end of the week.

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