Federal officials are working to address a kettle of vultures that has taken over a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) radio tower in Texas, creating what officials say is a safety hazard.
The agency released a request for information (RFI) this week seeking possible solutions to the approximately 300 vultures roosting on the CBP radio towers at Kingsville, Texas. One solution includes netting to deter the birds.
“A population of vultures have built up and are roosting and nesting on the tower structure on the railings, catwalks, supports, and on rails and conduit throughout. Droppings mixed with urine are on all of these surfaces and throughout the interior of the tower where workers are in contact with it, as well as on areas below,” the RFI reads.
“Since the presence of birds attract more birds this rural tower will be a frequent and constant target for vultures.”
A CBP official told CNN the birds living on the structure is “generally creating a safety hazard.”
“They will often defecate and vomit from their roost onto buildings below that house employees and equipment,” the official said. “There are anecdotes about birds dropping prey from a height of three-hundred feet, creating a terrifying and dangerous situation for those concerned.”
A report by Quartz also claims that feces from the vultures are disrupting communications by living on the tower.
Federal officials are working closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Texas officials, Fish and Wildlife and environmental experts to make sure no birds are harmed as the agency tries to relocate them from the towers.
Vultures are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and the USDA notes they are known for nesting in massive numbers. The USDA also notes that the birds can seriously damage power lines and cause outages or disrupt communication when they choose to nest in such structures.