Home Screamer sirens being deployed in Waynesboro around sunset with goal to deter vultures
Local, Public Safety

Screamer sirens being deployed in Waynesboro around sunset with goal to deter vultures

Crystal Graham
black vulture in the air
(© mattcuda – stock.adobe.com)

The City of Waynesboro is using screamer siren cartridges to deter vultures over the next two weeks, according to the Waynesboro Police Department.

The sirens will be deployed in the Bookerdale area of the city.

The sirens make a loud, 100 dB screeching noise and generally scare off pests, including nuisance birds, within a 250- to 300-foot range.

“We are taking proactive measures to manage vulture populations, which can sometimes become a nuisance or hazard,” said WPD Captain Jamie Dunn. “Activation of the screamer siren cartridges is expected to occur around sunset over the next two weeks.”

According to the USDA, vultures may cause property damage as well as health and safety concerns. While they may be considered a nuisance, they are known to adapt and thrive in close proximity to people.

The WPD warns that noise levels may be disruptive, particularly during the deployment period, which should last a few seconds each evening. Residents were told in the notice posted to social media to take necessary precautions especially for individuals sensitive to loud noises, young children and pets.

“The use of screamer siren cartridges to deter vultures is not uncommon in areas where these birds pose a problem,” said Dunn. “The loud noise and disturbance can encourage them to relocate to less populated areas.”

The goal, Dunn said, is to encourage the vultures to move to more natural habitats away from urban areas. However, it is possible, he said, that the vultures may simply move to other parts of the city.

Dunn said that measures like sirens can be successful in dispersing vultures temporarily.

“However, long-term solutions may involve a combination of deterrent methods,” said Dunn.

The USDA says that vulture management may include auditory and visual methods including lasers and propane cannons.

“While using screamer siren cartridges may be temporarily disruptive, it’s typically a necessary step in managing wildlife populations and mitigating potential conflicts,” Dunn said.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.