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Officials Plan to Move Vultures from Leesburg

What's that noise you're hearing in Leesburg? Starting Monday, officials will use pyrotechnics, lasers to move vultures from downtown.

Leesburg's vulture problem will get a solution next week, officials said Wednesday, when federal wildlife specialists and town police officers plan to deploy pyrotechnics and lasers to scare the creatures away from areas they're damaging downtown.

Starting Monday, and continuing every day that week, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services Program, along with the Leesburg Police Department, will work to remove the vultures from the area of Mayfair Drive NE and Plaza Street NE.

From 4 to 5 p.m. on those days, "officials will use pyrotechnics, lasers, and other dispersal devices that are noise and light makers to move the birds nightly just prior to dark," the town said in a release Wednesday.

Large numbers of vultures have made Leesburg their home before. They're back, about 150 to 200 strong, and have started to roost in the trees surrounding the properties along those roads, north of Leesburg Plaza and Plaza Street Park and south of Robinson Park.

The birds, by nature, will remain in the same areas for "extended periods of time," officials said in a statement. Not only do the creatures cause property damage -- picking away at rooftops and rubber seals and defecating on buildings, yards, and vehicles -- but they're also a health concern.

Next week's initiative is an effort to move the birds away from the areas where they are causing damage, officials said; all dispersal activity will happen on town property, or private property with permission from the owners. 

"Effective dispersal of this roost will benefit residents and vultures in the long term," officials wrote.

Related Content (Updated Jan. 7):

Loudoun Group Decries Leesburg Vulture Control

What's the Noise You Hear in Leesburg?

F. Gasperini January 03, 2013 at 12:36 PM
But, whose neighborhood will the "disperse" to?
Jennifer Little Severance January 03, 2013 at 12:42 PM
exactly - we already have about a dozen of them over here in NW. I'd rather their friends not join them!
Erin January 03, 2013 at 01:21 PM
A futile and wasteful attempt. Rather than "relocating" them we should learn to appreciate and live with them.
Robin Klass January 03, 2013 at 02:45 PM
how many times have they tried this and how many times has it REALLY worked? I have pictures of them roosting in the cemetery on Old Waterford Rd. They weren't bothering anyone there and they always leave in the spring. personally, I enjoyed watching them come in at night and watching them spread their wings getting ready for takeoff in the mornings. Just a big waste of money every year. Can't decorate the town for Christmas, but can't wait to waste all that money and time chasing the birds. Go figure!!
Laura January 03, 2013 at 03:00 PM
This made me chuckle. I thought the police were on our street yesterday to finally do something about the speeding and ridiculous overflow parking, but I see they were just vulture observing.
kathleen fergus January 03, 2013 at 03:01 PM
Exactly the question I came to ask. Where are they moving them to?
Brian Virgo January 03, 2013 at 03:36 PM
We are a little bit country.......
Scott Dickinson January 03, 2013 at 06:07 PM
Maybe they'll go back to their own kind and infest the mayor's house like in 2003
Marcus Aurelius January 04, 2013 at 12:28 AM
Oh, I thought this article was about moving the County Building to Ashburn.....
Teri January 09, 2013 at 02:44 AM
Exactly. They will move to another part of Loudoun County and simply return. We have taken all of their space away by building houses. They need some place to nest.
Teri January 09, 2013 at 02:45 AM
Touché.

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