Vultures have taken up roost on my house or in my neighborhood. How do I get rid of them?

It is first important to understand what makes your area attractive. This is not necessarily a food source. Vultures are highly social animals, and they prefer to roost in large colonies. Areas that are conducive to this include the stereotypical dead tree, cell phone towers, and even rooftops or porch coverings. Removal of such trees is not advisable for several reasons: 1) these trees are often habitats for other wildlife, and 2) without the trees, the vultures may move to rooftops, a far less desirable situation.

The best way to discourage vultures is to create an inhospitable environment. On the household level, you can hang shiny, flapping objects to frighten the birds, frequently run outside, clapping and shouting, or set off firecrackers. (Note that, after a while, the vultures may discover that shiny flapping objects pose them no risk, at which point these will rather become fun toys. So it is best to initially accompany them with noise or blasts from a garden hose, and to be careful not to hang them somewhere that you would find to be a particularly unesirable secondary vulture roost)

On the community level, vulture discouragement is often accomplished with periodic cannon shots, or other noise solutions.


Why? Dead vultures will create a very unsanitary environment, and will attract ground-bound scavengers such as coyotes and foxes, which would pose much more of a risk to your family. The carcasses might even attract a replacement population of new vultures. And please keep in mind, there is NO way of poisoning a vulture without unintentionally targeting large quantities of other wildlife.

Unfortunately, having adapted very well to the growing human population, vultures are becoming more difficult to discourage from residential areas. This does not mean that their populations will rise to any dangerous level, however. Like all other wild animals, they are controlled by natural population fluctuations. If the birds are roosting in trees or on cell phone towers, it is best to leave them in peace. They are wonderful animals to have around, as they keep the environment clean and healthy. You will even find that they can be beatiful in flight, and fun to observe.


What types of fireworks are associated with most injuries?

Between June 16 and July 16, 2006:

  • Firecrackers were associated with the greatest number of estimated injuries at 1,300. There were 1,000 injuries associated with sparklers and 800 associated with rockets.
  • Sparklers accounted for one-third of the injuries to children less than 5 years of age.

Between 2000-2005, more than one-third of the fireworks-related deaths involved professional devices that were illegally sold to consumers.


How should I set about growing a handlebar moustache?

The problem for most of our members when trying to answer this question is that it is many years since we started to grow our moustaches, and we find it hard to remember how we went about it. I think that at first I only grew the hair on my upper lip, then as it started to get longer I let the “growing area” spread outwards! But it is entirely up to you. The important thing is that you should feel “comfortable” with the way it looks (even if the itchiness is a bit uncomfortable!)

The biggest decision will come when the hair in the centre of the lip starts to grow long and begins to get messy whenever you are drinking soup. At that point some people trim it to keep it short in the centre. However, if you can survive the messy stage (that is when the hair is starting to grow but isn’t long enough to brush to the sides), it is worth letting it all grow so you can train the hair to grow out sideways in order to achieve a more traditional shape. More>