The City of Burton is embarking on a campaign to eradicate a large number of vultures that have been troubling local residents.

(courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Last month, the Burton City Council moved to hire Jacob Hetzel, a wildlife biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife, to get rid of the buzzards, who have made the water tower their home and often target trash receptacles around town.

In a newsletter published by the city on Thursday, the campaign is described as one of two phases.  The first one involves making sure residents and businesses who use dumpsters for garbage disposal are keeping the lids closed at all times.  The second will have the wildlife biologist using pyrotechnics to scare the birds away, with lethal removal being an option for those that persist.

The city says the second phase is a 3-5 day process that will take place roughly an hour before sundown.  It says it will attempt to inform homeowners when the process begins so that they can bring in any pets that might be afraid of the loud noises caused by the pyrotechnics.  In addition, the wildlife biologist will reach out to landowners if there are any issues on private property. 

The contract that was approved by the council has a cost of $250 per visit, and will last until terminated by the council or until the birds are no longer a problem. 

What’s your Reaction?


  1. Not all Burton citizens agree that these creatures should be subjected to an excruciatingly painful inhumane death by poison!!

    Vultures are sociable intelligent creatures created to perform an important job in nature. We all benefit from the diligent work they’ve been assigned – removing animal carcasses (for free!) Also, Vulture excrement is actually STERILE due to its high acid content – sufficient to kill bacteria and spores!! Vulture numbers increase during Winter due to migration from colder areas. Loss of habitat may also play a part.

    Hopefully the first step will be sufficient – PEOPLE taking responsibility for CLOSING their open trash containers – a public nuisance and an attractant to hungry animals. Perhaps fines could be levied FIRST before a painful wholesale slaughter?

    Some of us actually enjoy observing these birds and do NOT want them eliminated or killed. Were there to be an informed referendum on this I suspect many would vote against. Is this just a personal “mission” of a few well-placed individuals?? Living creatures will bear the brunt of it.

    1. Did I miss something? I didn’t see anything about poisoning the birds, only lethal removal. Not sure how that would be done. But I agree it’s our responsibility to keep dumpsters closed!

  2. It’s good that Burton is taking steps to eradicate the vultures, however, Brenham had better do something and quick. Last week at a fast food restaurant, there was a vulture eating out of the dumpster. When Burton finally gets rid of their vultures, they will be flying and living in Brenham.

    1. This has been a problem at Yequa Park for years, they will destroy wiper blades , plastic trim, tail lites and uphostery on vekicles & boats. If notified park rangers have fired off pyrotechnics and it reduces the numbers. This was also noted on Tv’s MLF tournament filmed Nov 2022.

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