Turkey vultures invade West Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) Like the set of an Alfred Hitchcock movie, the 400 block of North 50th street in West Philadelphia, is under attack by the birds.

More specifically, turkey vultures—sometimes called turkey buzzards. Everyone has a grainy photo to show you, along with a story of meeting the creepy raptors face-to-face.

“I asked my cousin, ‘was it a flying turkey?’” said Lisa Washington.

Neighbors told our Bruce Gordon a “committee’ of turkey vultures—that’s what a group of them is called—showed up about three weeks ago and took up residence in a long vacant and crumbling rowhouse on the block.

Engrid Bullock lives just across the street, and says the vultures, or buzzards, or whatever they are, have a bit of an attitude.

She remembers one particular encounter.

“He was just staring at me,” from just off her front porch.  “And I told him, ‘you’re not gonna make me move from my home!’”

"Hey look, I'm fine as long as they stay up there,” she says.  “But when they come down here, I'm done."

Cameo and Christina Ali-Bey live right next door to the vacant home with its squatting vultures They hear them making noise all night long.

"It'll sound like people walking in the house, just scratching noises," says Christina.  “Like a horror movie!"

Their teacup Yorkie Rocco needs a bodyguard when he goes outside, says Christina.

"Because I'm scared the buzzards will try to scoop him up and make him dinner!"  

Truth be told, Gordon never did see the turkey vultures himself—just pictures and phone-videos. He tried to entice them out into the open by placing a half-eaten cheeseburger on the sidewalk. Thirty minutes later, a random bird showed up to peck at the bun.

There is some good news. Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses and Inspections confirmed for Gordon that the vacant rowhouse is set to be demolished Thursday.  That means the turkey vultures will be forced to find a new home.

“About time,” says Cameo Ali-Bey.

 

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