As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Sunday 16 June 2013

California town besieged by endangered birds

Residents of a small California town wish a certain endangered species would make itself scarce.

Flocks of California condors have descended upon Bear Valley Springs. Residents, who are allowed to do little to chase them away, say the huge birds peck off roof shingles, damage air conditioners and leave porches coated in droppings. And although the majestic birds, with a wingspan of nine feet, are widely admired, the gated community of about 5,200 about 80 miles north of Los Angeles has seen enough of them.

“A lot of people used to think seeing a condor was amazing,” local realtor Beth Hall told “After seeing the damage they have done, they have become less popular with people, myself included.” 

“After seeing the damage they have done, they have become less popular, among myself included.”

- Beth Hall, local realtor

Unfortunately for the residents, the birds are protected by both federal and state law, leaving them almost powerless to take action. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 66 of the remaining 417 condors live in Southern California.

The condors caused significant damage on the outside of a rental property of Hall's, leaving her with big repair bills. The worst of it took place on her deck after one of the birds opened and spilled a can of white paint. Other condors tracked the paint all around on the deck, Hall said.

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