MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. (CBS) — Menacing-looking vultures are taking over a town in South Jersey and residents want them to buzz off. Hordes of vultures have been hanging around in Mount Holly. Residents want them gone but not everybody feels that way as environmentalists say the vultures are an important part of the ecosystem.
Doris Adler took a picture outside her Mount Holly home when, she says, as many as 50 vultures were roosting in her trees.
“It looked ‘The Birds’ movie. It was pretty scary and it was disgusting,” said Adler.
Her biggest beef with the birds is their droppings. It gets everywhere, is smelly and corrosive.
“It got so bad that we cut the branches off the tops of our trees,” explained Adler.
Aggravated residents have complained about vultures making sections of Mount Holly their winter home for years. Now, the town is trying to build a little appreciation.
Rescue vulture Apollo is an education ambassador at the Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge in Medford.
Last Friday, he and educator Lauren Edzenga took part in a pro-vulture workshop hosted by the Mount Holly Environmental Committee. She explained the birds’ role as nature’s clean-up crew since they feed on dead carcasses.
“If we didn’t have decomposers, we’d have dead stuff all over the place which would spread disease,” said Edzenga.
Edzenga explained the vultures’ patent bald heads do have a purpose.
“He is specially designed to eat dead stuff,” said Edzenga. “That’s why he doesn’t have any feathers on his head or his legs, because when he’s digging around in a carcass, he doesn’t want that stuff to stick to his head.”
Adler said she can appreciate the birds’ dirty job, but she’s still not rolling out the welcome branch.
“You can have the vultures on your property, but not on mine,” she said.