Subject: Re: Plague of Vultures Feeds on Farm Animals (very long)
Date: Apr 22 18:17:39 1995
From: Burton Guttman - guttmanb at elwha.evergreen.edu



Tom Foote asks whether anyone has a follow-up to the story of "a large
number of vultures on live prey." I passed along a thread of messages
from Birdchat. Here's another series that appeared later, including one
from Tom himself.

Forwarded messages
___________________
>From macklins at UMICH.EDU Thu Apr 13 18:31:59 1995
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 1995 12:12:03 -0400
From: Macklin Smith <macklins at UMICH.EDU>
Reply to: "National Birding Hotline Cooperative (Chat Line)"
<BIRDCHAT at listserv.Arizona.EDU>
To: Multiple recipients of list BIRDCHAT <BIRDCHAT at LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU>
Subject: Re: Black (and Turkey) Vultures and livestock

My first thought would be "just another sensationalist THE BIRDS sort of
story," but while staying with our beef-cattle raising friends in W.Va.
recently I noted the following. The cattle got fairly freaked, invariably,
by nearby TV's in flight, even by seeing their shadows, and my friends said
this was normal, especially during calving season (which this was). They
had certainly never seen vultures go after a calf, and wondered why this
fear of vultures would exist. We speculated idly about genetically
programmed fears, Lammergeiers, eagles, and so on. On several occasions
I observed TV's feeding on afterbirths--well away from cows--and the cows
appeared indifferent to this. The cows also would consign their
particular calves to what I called "day care centers," especially in
sinkholes, with one cow watching over the group. The cows would also
command their calves to lie perfectly still in a sheltered spot (for
example, next to a hay bale), as deer do their fawns. A stilled newborn
calf can look dead--did look dead, even to our cattlegrowing friends--so
I wonder if the vultures might get the same idea? Still, we never saw a
vulture approach a stilled calf; nor have our friends seen this. So it
sounds like the situation in Virginia is unusual if not fictional. Even
so, some of the bovine and vulturine (a word?) behaviors that we saw
might dovetail with the news story.

Macklin Smith
University of Michigan
macklins at umich.edu

>From Peter.D.Hunt at DARTMOUTH.EDU Thu Apr 13 18:32:09 1995
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 1995 12:07:49 EDT
From: "Peter D. Hunt" <Peter.D.Hunt at DARTMOUTH.EDU>
Reply to: "National Birding Hotline Cooperative (Chat Line)"
<BIRDCHAT at listserv.Arizona.EDU>
To: Multiple recipients of list BIRDCHAT <BIRDCHAT at LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU>
Subject: Re: Black Vultures and livestock

I haven't heard of such behavior on the part of any New World Vulture, and
would certainly be interested in finding out more about the Virginia situation.
>From the article, however, it is not clear that the species involved is Black
Vulture, give the mention of "V" shaped wings, etc. Such behavior on the part
of Turkey Vultures, of course, would be just as bizarre.

Anyway, as to the question of potentially increased populations of vultures,
there may be a couple of factors at work. For one thing, there may well be
more dead wildlife around then we think there is. In many parts of the east,
populations of everthing from squirrels to moose are increasing, due in large
part (moose maybe being an exception) to human alterations of the environment
(loss of predators, feeding, habitat modification). I wouldn't be surprized if
there is a lot more mortality in these populations than is indicated by the
frequency of road kills. Second, how about landfills? These are supposedly
becoming more "sanitary" these days, but could increased vulture populations
represent some sort of lag time from the not-so-distant days of open dumps?
Finally, and the reasons behind this are far from understood, both species of
vulture are expanding there ranges north. TVs used to be a rare beast in
northern New England, but are now fairly regular right up to the Canadian
border and downright common in some areas. Thus the higher numbers in more
southerly regions may represent concentrations of migrating or wintering birds,
which will gradually leave as spring progresses.

Peter Hunt
Hanover, NH
warbler at dartmouth.edu

>From footet at elwha.evergreen.edu Thu Apr 13 18:33:37 1995
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 1995 20:32:09 -0700 (PDT)
From: Tom Foote <footet at elwha.evergreen.edu>
To: Burt guttman <guttmanb at elwha.evergreen.edu>
Subject: Buzzards Everywhere! (fwd)

Burt--

Here's a message Michael Price sent me you might find interesting. This
has just got to be a big scam and I hope that request to the Virginia
biders is heeded and someone straightens this out.

Tom
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 09 Apr 95 15:35:02 -0800
From: Michael Price <Michael_Price at mindlink.bc.ca>
To: footet at elwha.evergreen.edu
Subject: Buzzards Everywhere!

>This story really looks like some kind of urban legend. Anybody ever
>hear of this behavior in vultures before?
>Tom Foote

Hi Tom,

This sounds like an urban legend to me, too, but there may be some new
learned behavior here as well. A lot of scavengers, ravens come to mind,
will take advantage of afterbirths, etc., and ravens have figured out the
next step in the process, which is, if the placentae are so good, why not
kill the young, too? Reputedly, magpies and ravens have learned to blind
and kill sheep by pecking at the eyes of the adults.

It may be that the story is accurate, and these birds are actually killing
calves, but what I'd wonder is *where are the mothers*? Why *aren't* they
defending their young? A cow will not usually defend an obviously-weak
calf. How many of these calves are actually born healthy? There are some
other factors. First, there are more TUVU. There seems to be a general
increase in TUVU with increase in paved roads, therefore higher speeds,
therefore more roadkill. Here in BC, that's definitely been the case: TUVU
used to be confined to the Okanagan Valley and southern Cariboo district,
and the Gulf Islands in the extreme SW of the province, all dry to
semi-arid, but now they're heading into the center of the province,
expanding into precisely those areas which are paving their roads.

More TUVU but the same food resources during migration or even less food
due to habitat destruction may be a factor here.

Has there been a collapse of some of their other food sources due to
natural calamity, or habitat destruction in the area? And haven't these
farmers heard of *dogs*? And why aren't these marauding TUVU hitting other
sites on their migratory path; are there similar instances of staging
flocks behaving like this anywhere else on their migration paths?

If the story is true, and as callous as this suggestion may sound, why not
get the local knacker to donate or sell cheap slaughterhouse horses to the
local conservation org. to attract the TUVU *away* from the birthing
fields? This works here with Trumpeter Swans which come here for the winter
and chew up farmers' winter planted crops pretty heavily and flatfoot the
rest into the mud, which they then compact with their great weight. Not
much grows after a few hundred of these "t'underin' great burds", as a
Newfoundland friend of mine calls them, get through with a field. After
sussing out the problem, various farmers' groups and a few gov't
departments set up a program that involves distraction, diversion to
designated feeding fields, compensation (who doesn't love that one?),
setting specially-trained dogs on 'em to give them the roust, and so on.
Program's worked for a few years now. If for swans, why not, suitably
modified, for vultures?

I'm also reminded of the stories of Golden Eagles killing lambs and sheep
that were circulated by farmers for years: turns out the eagles ignored
lambs whose mothers actively defended but would scavenge stillborn lambs or
kill lambs whose mothers did not defend, and that these lambs were in every
case so sickly as to be good as dead anyway. Some farmers were
misidentifying vultures, some deliberately because they just didn't like
raptors, period, and what does accuracy and integrity have to do with it? A
Texan eagle bounty hunter who did his work from airplanes set out to prove
the hunters' thesis that Golden Eagles kill lambs by *staking out a lamb*;
luckily this imbecile's cover was blown when he started bragging about his
plan.

Could this story perhaps have been planted by those who just want something
else to shoot and kill. Or planted to drive a wedge between farmers and
conservationists? Before you say that that may be pretty paranoid, there is
historical instance of it here in BC.

The spin doctors hired by the powerful forest companies here in BC is
Burston, MacKellar, the big US public relations company that was hired by
the viciously thuggish military regime in Argentina to work on their image,
and such other reclamation projects: these guys specialise in dressing up
scum to fool the rest of us into thinking they're just poor
misunderstood folks, any one who's critical is a communist, etc. These guys
are *very* good and completely untrammelled by moral considerations.

BM's advice was a) get the local city daily paper to fire a very effective
columnist, nationally one of the best in the biz, who repeatedly proved
incompetence, favoritism, and malfeasance in the forestry industry &
provincial government's Ministry of Forests; the forest companies have
*considerable* clout in this province, and they were able to lean on the
paper to do just that; b) get the companies to set up and fund--at arm's
length, naturally--"spontaneous" groups dedicated to "saving" forest jobs
(at the same time as the very same companies were automating tens of
thousands of jobs out of existence) and c) surreptitiously circulate as
many stories as possible to alienate loggers and other small town-people
from the conservationists by painting the latter as big-city
cappuccino-slurping tree-hugging snobs who cared more about trees than
working people dependent on the forest for an honest living, etc. I can
tell you from doing bird surveys and working in the small towns and logging
camps, that it worked, big time. Divide and conquer.

Of course, it may be nothing like that, but simple silly-season reporting a
few months early. Why ascribe to malice what can be accounted for by simple
gross stupidity? :-)

Michael Price
Vancouver BC Canada
michael_price at mindlink.bc.ca


>From UserBobPet at AOL.COM Thu Apr 13 18:33:48 1995
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 1995 00:43:15 -0400
From: Bob Pettit <UserBobPet at AOL.COM>
Reply to: "National Birding Hotline Cooperative (Chat Line)"
<BIRDCHAT at listserv.Arizona.EDU>
To: Multiple recipients of list BIRDCHAT <BIRDCHAT at LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU>
Subject: Vulture Aggression Debunked

Dear Chatters
The "Washington Post" article on vultures "attacking" animals in RADFORD, VA,
is a great example of bad journalism. The same kind of incident occurred in
STAFFORD, VA in Feb. 1994. It was reported in the "Daily News-Record" in
Harrisonburg VA (Monday, Feb. 21, 1994, p. 9). The same non-technical type
persons are interviewed as either an eye-witness or as an authority in the
field of livestock attacks.

People are entitled to their own opinion or point of view, but they are "not"
entitled to their own factual information.

As a follow-up to the RADFORD affair, the "Washington Post" (April 5, 1994)
had two short articles reviewing the circumstances of the supposed attacks.

Elizabeth Daniels wrote, "They [BV] sometimes peck at newborn farm animals,
having been attracted by the afterbirth. They may sit on the rumps of adult
animals, but not with intent to harm them. Probably they are waiting for
discharge of "cow plops," which in freezing weather may be the only nonfrozen
source of nourishment available, poor as it is."

Gary R. Graves, Curator of Birds at the National Museum of Natural History,
wrote in the same issue of the "Post." "Vultures readily feed upon stillborn
livestock and afterbirth, but do not possess the raptorial equipment to kill
large, healthy animals." He also stated that, "There have been no credible
reports of either species [of vulture] attacking children or adults." He
also stressed that any "attacks by black vultures" "should be thoroughly
documented in a reputable scientific journal." He concluded that, "Children,
livestock and family cats have more to fear from misinformed reporters that
they do from hungry vultures."

VOS it's time to educate the VA public about vultures. The suggestion of
leaving stillborns in a different section of the farm had merit. Let's do a
study and tie a knot in this thread.

Bob Pettit
Monroe County Community College
1555 So. Raisinville Road
Monroe, MI 48161
313-242-7300 Ext. 256
313-242-9711 fax
UserBobPet at aol.com

23393 Meadows Ave.
Flat Rock, MI 48134
313-379-4558

>From BENEDICT at VAX.CS.HSCSYR.EDU Thu Apr 13 18:34:13 1995
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 1995 09:24:42 -0500
From: BENEDICT at VAX.CS.HSCSYR.EDU
Reply to: "National Birding Hotline Cooperative (Chat Line)"
<BIRDCHAT at listserv.Arizona.EDU>
To: Multiple recipients of list BIRDCHAT <BIRDCHAT at LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU>
Subject: Re: Black Vultures and livestock

In Australia similar claims had been made, a careful investigation revealed
that essentially every newborn (sheep) eaten by predators was also stillborn,
probably due to overcrowding of sheep on the range. The paper is in CSIRO
Wildlife Bulletin, about 1965. I don't know what's going in Virginia, but
that's one of the questions that needs to be investigated.

Paul DeBenedictis
SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse

>From staylor at URMC.ROCHESTER.EDU Thu Apr 13 18:34:46 1995
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 1995 10:27:00 EDT
From: "Taylor, Stephen F. SMDDEAN" <staylor at URMC.ROCHESTER.EDU>
Reply to: "National Birding Hotline Cooperative (Chat Line)"
<BIRDCHAT at listserv.Arizona.EDU>
To: Multiple recipients of list BIRDCHAT <BIRDCHAT at LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU>
Subject: Re: Black Vultures and livestock

This is very scary!! It looks as though the reporter did no background
checks to understand the habits of vultures. Not only that, it appears that
no one went to check on the identification of the birds in question. This
is terrible reporting and it bodes very badly on raptor protection.. We have
a similar but very small movement here in upstate NY suggesting that
protected raptors are now getting too numerous and causing "environmental
balance problems"

[Repeat of my original message omitted here. BG]

>From bergstrm at GRITS.VALDOSTA.PEACHNET.EDU Thu Apr 13 18:35:41 1995
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 1995 11:59:44 -0400
From: Brad Bergstrom <bergstrm at GRITS.VALDOSTA.PEACHNET.EDU>
Reply to: "National Birding Hotline Cooperative (Chat Line)"
<BIRDCHAT at listserv.Arizona.EDU>
To: Multiple recipients of list BIRDCHAT <BIRDCHAT at LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU>
Subject: Re: Black Vultures and livestock

Seems we all agree that the article was grossly exaggerated if not
totally fallacious. Beyond that, has anyone written a letter to the
editor of The Washington Post, setting the record straight? Request:
someone who's passionate and knowledgable on the subject, please do so,
and then post it to BIRDCHAT.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Brad Bergstrom TEL 912-333-5759
Dept. of Biology FAX 912-333-7408
Valdosta State Univ. e-mail: bergstrm at grits.valdosta.peachnet.edu
Valdosta, GA 31698-0015
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

>From smn at MATH.UMD.EDU Thu Apr 13 18:37:13 1995
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 1995 00:41:48 -0400
From: "Steven M. Nunes" <smn at MATH.UMD.EDU>
Reply to: "National Birding Hotline Cooperative (Chat Line)"
<BIRDCHAT at listserv.Arizona.EDU>
To: Multiple recipients of list BIRDCHAT <BIRDCHAT at LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU>
Subject: vultures

The Washington Post, which serves the area under discussion,
seems to have carried an extended version of the article posted
by Burt. The article is at home, but I do recall an observation,
which I do not see in the version quoted on Birdchat, to the
effect that while Turkey Vultures will not prey upon live animals,
Black Vultures will indeed do so.

Steven Nunes
College Park, MD USA

>From guttmanb at ELWHA.EVERGREEN.EDU Thu Apr 13 18:37:39 1995
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 1995 23:17:08 -0700
From: Burton Guttman <guttmanb at ELWHA.EVERGREEN.EDU>
Reply to: "National Birding Hotline Cooperative (Chat Line)"
<BIRDCHAT at listserv.Arizona.EDU>
To: Multiple recipients of list BIRDCHAT <BIRDCHAT at LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU>
Subject: Re: vulture feeding habits

I don't want to stretch this thread out unnecessarily; the issues of
accuracy in reporting, anti-environmentalism, and so on have been
discussed, and I hope folks in the Virginia-D.C. area will look into the
situation some more. But the question of Black Vulture feeding habits
has been raised. All I know is what I read in my references:

Brown and Amadon, _Eagles, Hawks, and Falcons of the World_, p. 181, re
Black Vulture: "It feeds on carrion, offal, and excrement of all sorts.
Two or three hundred may gather at the carcase of a large animal, and
thirty or forty at one time struggle for food. . . . Turkey Vultures give
way before it. It also takes live helpless animals, such as young sea
birds and herons, baby sea turtles just emerging from the sand, or turtle
eggs dug out by a mammal, and even newly born piglets and calves, often
snipping off the tails of the small animals. For the latter reason and
because they are supposed to transport various diseases, they have been
trapped and destroyed by the thousands in some areas, for example Texas.
A flock has been seen to surround a skunk (_Mephitis_) and finally pounce
and tear it to pieces."

Snyder and Snyder, _Birds of Prey_ (Voyageur Press, 1991), p. 31: "Black
Vultures appear to be more willing than other New World vultures to take
living prey, and they have been observed capturing small turtles and
preying on eggs and young of colonial waterbirds on occasion. Records
also exist of groups of Black Vultures successfully attacking and
dismembering live skunks and opossums. In Guyana, we watched them
clustering around cattle giving birth, apparently waiting for an
opportunity to feed on afterbirths or on stillborn calves, or perhaps
sometimes on live calves."

A few other references, including Bent, repeat these points, mention the
dangers to young livestock, but no mention of the ganging up on live
calves or sheep mentioned in the Washington Post article. Anyway, I hope
those in a position to follow up on the reported situation will do so in
the name of accuracy.

Burt Guttman guttmanb at elwha.evergreen.edu
The Evergreen State College Voice: 360-866-6000, x. 6755
Olympia, WA 98505 FAX: 360-866-6794

>From whitehea at wsunix.wsu.edu Thu Apr 13 18:38:27 1995
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 95 07:24:59 -0700
From: Harriet Whitehead <whitehea at wsunix.wsu.edu>
Reply to: tweeters at u.washington.edu
To: Multiple recipients of list <tweeters at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: Plague of Vultures Feeds on Farm Animals

Tom,
The vulture stories do indeed seem too dire to be true, but there
may be a kernel or two there. In Virginia, Black Vultures can be pretty
mean characters and there are perenniel reports of peoples' small pets
being attacked and of lawn furniture and the vynal roofs of cars being
demolished (!) Turkey Vultures seem to have a less blemished
character... As I recall there was a write-up in the Wall Street Journal
about a year ago on the Black Vulture hazard in South Boston, Virginia.

[Tom's original message omitted here. BG]

>From faanesca at MAIL.FWS.GOV Thu Apr 13 18:42:54 1995
Date: Thu, 13 Apr 1995 09:10:18 MST
From: Craig Faanes <faanesca at MAIL.FWS.GOV>
Reply to: "National Birding Hotline Cooperative (Chat Line)"
<BIRDCHAT at listserv.Arizona.EDU>
To: Multiple recipients of list BIRDCHAT <BIRDCHAT at LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU>
Subject: Black Vultures versus Calves in Virginia

A suggestion was made on Birdchat recently that someone should write a
letter to the editor of the Washington Post "setting the record
straight" on the black vulture's eating calves issue in Virginia. On
Tuesday this week I sought permission, and it was given, to write such
a letter for the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to
send to the Post's editor.

I am working on the letter today. If anyone has *factual*
information, observations, or data that I can use to make her point,
please eMail to me ASAP. I am especially interested in anything I can
throw in there about the musculature of the legs of vultures not being
adapted for grasping (as in a hawk or owl) which would reduce the
likelihood of vultures being able to grab and kill.

Thanks a lot for any quick assistance you can provide.

Craig Faanes
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
FaanesCA at mail.fws.gov

>From gpasq at DBINTELLECT.COM Thu Apr 13 18:43:10 1995
Date: Thu, 13 Apr 1995 09:27:04 -0600
From: Greg Pasquariello <gpasq at DBINTELLECT.COM>
Reply to: "National Birding Hotline Cooperative (Chat Line)"
<BIRDCHAT at listserv.Arizona.EDU>
To: Multiple recipients of list BIRDCHAT <BIRDCHAT at LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU>
Subject: Re: Black Vultures versus Calves in Virginia

I don't understand why nobody on BirdChat thinks black vultures
eat calves. They do! I have seen it first hand in NJ. There were
20 or so black vultures sitting around a cow birthing a calf. The calf
was still in the birthing process but was dead. I don't know if it was
stillborn or killed by the vultures, but I believe that it would have been
killed anyway, as the vultures were quite aggressive and were feeding
on the eyes and softparts before the calf was fully delivered.

So, it's not necessarily an issue of the vultures not being strong enough.
It's an issue of them taking advantage of a helpless creature.

Greg Pasquariello "...and he sailed off through night and day
dbINTELLECT Technologies and in and out of weeks and almost over a year
gpasq at dbintellect.com to where the wild things are" - M. Sendak

>From hampton at GORDY.UCDAVIS.EDU Thu Apr 13 18:43:47 1995
Date: Thu, 13 Apr 1995 09:21:07 -0700
From: Steve Hampton <hampton at GORDY.UCDAVIS.EDU>
Reply to: "National Birding Hotline Cooperative (Chat Line)"
<BIRDCHAT at listserv.Arizona.EDU>
To: Multiple recipients of list BIRDCHAT <BIRDCHAT at LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU>
Subject: Re: Black Vultures in VA

We've done some wonderful speculation on how the Post story of
vultures killing many calves is surely false or, at best, exaggerated.
However, there's nothing like a first-hand account. Have any
BirdChatters or other birders been out to these farms in the last
week to observe these vultures? What did they see?

STEVE HAMPTON [hampton at gordy.ucdavis.edu]
Dept. of Agricultural Economics, UC Davis
Davis, CA 95616 USA

>From maresmit at UNCCVM.UNCC.EDU Thu Apr 13 18:44:16 1995
Date: Thu, 13 Apr 1995 10:11:26 -0700
From: "Marek K. Smith" <maresmit at UNCCVM.UNCC.EDU>
Reply to: "National Birding Hotline Cooperative (Chat Line)"
<BIRDCHAT at listserv.Arizona.EDU>
To: Multiple recipients of list BIRDCHAT <BIRDCHAT at LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU>
Subject: more on Black Vutures and calves

I don't think it's a question of whether Black Vultures feed on stillborn
calves, the afterbirth, or even weak newborn calves. I believe most
(raptor researchers, Birdchatters, etc.) would agree that all of the above
occur. The rumors that I at least would like to see addressed and
dismissed are those concerning predation of full grown cows, dogs, cats,
etc. The newspaper articles, both from this year and last, raise concerns
for livestock, domestic pets, and even children. These are the issues that
need to be put to rest by demonstrating that vultures lack the physical
capabilities needed to capture, fatally injure, and fly off with 25 pound
Cocker Spaniels.

-----------------------------------------
Marek K. Smith
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
maresmit at unccvm.uncc.edu

>From quezon at OASYS.DT.NAVY.MIL Thu Apr 13 18:44:36 1995
Date: Thu, 13 Apr 1995 13:36:00 EDT
From: Antonio Quezon <quezon at OASYS.DT.NAVY.MIL>
Reply to: "National Birding Hotline Cooperative (Chat Line)"
<BIRDCHAT at listserv.Arizona.EDU>
To: Multiple recipients of list BIRDCHAT <BIRDCHAT at LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU>
Subject: Re: Black Vultures versus Calves in Virginia

Greg Pasquariello <gpasq at DBINTELLECT.COM> Thu Apr 13, 9:27am -0600:
=>I don't understand why nobody on BirdChat thinks black vultures
=>eat calves. They do! I have seen it first hand in NJ. There were
=>20 or so black vultures sitting around a cow birthing a calf. The calf
=>was still in the birthing process but was dead. I don't know if it was
=>stillborn or killed by the vultures, but I believe that it would have been
=>killed anyway, as the vultures were quite aggressive and were feeding
=>on the eyes and softparts before the calf was fully delivered.
=>
=>So, it's not necessarily an issue of the vultures not being strong enough.
=>It's an issue of them taking advantage of a helpless creature.

There are descriptions in the literature (Bent, Brown and Amadon) of
Black Vultures preying on newborn calves, pigs, sheep, herons, and
cormorants. I had a discussion the last time this subject arose on
rec.birds about a year or so ago with a person who had done some
vulture research as a graduate student in Florida and had witnessed
Black Vultures attacking stillborn, birthing, and newborn livestock.
There is a reliable source in south-west Virginia that has confirmed
the vulture predations as described by the Washington Post.

A.J. (Tony) Quezon
Carderock Division
Naval Surface Warfare Center
Code 2042 1419 Cuttermill Ct.
Bethesda, MD 20084-5000 Herndon, VA 22070
Work: (301)227-3618 Home: (703)435-3965
e-mail: quezon at oasys.dt.navy.mil
or ajq at mickey.dt.navy.mil

>From GAIL at UMDD.BITNET Thu Apr 13 18:44:51 1995
Date: Thu, 13 Apr 1995 14:25:58 -0400
From: Gail Mackiernan <GAIL at UMDD.BITNET>
Reply to: "National Birding Hotline Cooperative (Chat Line)"
<BIRDCHAT at listserv.Arizona.EDU>
To: Multiple recipients of list BIRDCHAT <BIRDCHAT at LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU>
Subject: Re: Black Vultures versus Calves in Virginia

What this all comes down to the need to exercise reasonable livestock
management practices. My grandmother rasied sheep for a while in Massachusetts
and lambing ewes were brought in in part to avoid problems with predators
(mostly feral dogs, unfortunately) as well as to be there in case of birthing
problems. Closer supervision, perhaps coupled with use of livestock-
protecting dogs (not the same as herding dogs), would alleviate a lot of
problems with potential predators, which in the area described might also
include feral dogs or even coyotes, which are common in western VA in some
areas. The Post article gave the impression that the only solution for the
farmers was shooting the birds or complaining.

Gail Mackiernan, Gail at UMDD.UMD.EDU