In Florida, there were a number of invasive species from Iguanas to Lionfish...but Vultures? Surely, they can't be counted among those nuisances.

However, if you're in Sturgis you might disagree.

Perfectly in line with 2020, the Sturgis Journal reports that the city of Sturgis finds itself under the invasion of an unwelcomed guest - the Turkey Vulture. The group of carcass eaters, appropriately named a Wake, has taken up residence above a church creating a, to put it politely, mess with an odor that smacks you right in the olfactory system as soon as you're near the area. At wits end, the residents demanded action.

Michael Hughes, Sturgis City Manager, was quoted saying,

Normally, we don't address individual animal nuisance issues but this is a unique situation.

Yet, the Turkey Vulture is a protected species. The city had to get creative. While scarecrows are used to scare off pesky birds from crops, Turkey Vultures require something more...sinister. The USDA suggests the use of an "effigy" which is modeled after a Turkey Vulture and then hung upside down which makes it look like its either dead or in agony therefore scaring off the remaining Vultures. In other news, its also wildly successful at scaring off Michigan newcomers aka - myself.

Once placed, the hope is that the effigy will rid the town of the Vultures completely. Be that as it may, if the Wake chooses to move to a different part of town the effigy can simply be rehung again and again until the Vultures catch the hint.

Many questions remain. Why did the Vultures appear in the first place? What drew them to Sturgis in particular? Where will they strike next?

Wherever it is, one thing can be sure. If cities across Michigan suddenly find themselves hanging fake, dead birds from their trees at least they can double as horrific Halloween decorations.

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