Vomiting Black Vultures Take Over Couple's Florida Vacation Home: 'Smells Like a Thousand Rotting Corpses'

Dozens of black vultures have rendered a couple's vacation home uninhabitable by vomiting and defecating all over the property

The ominous birds have landed at New Yorkers Anthony and Siobhan Casimano's $700,000 second house in West Palm Beach, taking over the pool and barbecue area, and even destroying the screen enclosures.

The Casimanos have had to park their car in the garage to avoid being pecked at, according to the Palm Beach Post. They describe the smell of the carrion-eaters as "like a thousand rotting corpses."

Black vultures have taken over a Florida community
Black vultures have taken over a Florida community

Neighbor Cheryl Katz told the Post she's had it even worse—she lives next door to someone who's been feeding the buzzards and other local wildlife.

In May, nearly two dozen vultures tore into Katz's pool enclosure but couldn't figure out how to get out. So they started attacking each other in a panic.

"Imagine 20 vultures trapped, biting each other—and they can bite through bones," she told the paper. "They would bang against my windows running away from a bird that was attacking them. Blood was everywhere. It was a vile, vicious, traumatic event."

She tried using fake owls to ward the birds off, but "the vultures chewed the owls apart—they ripped the heads off."

Black vultures are prevalent in the American south but since they don't have strong claws, they employ rather unique form of self-defense: they throw up to scare away predators. The smell of their vomit is usually enough to scare away predators, but it's so acidic it can actually burn them, too.

In June, some 300 black vultures descended on a gated community in East Orange County, Florida, causing thousands of dollars worth of damage.

"They bite the weather-stripping on your car and scratch the roof of your car," one resident told Click Orlando. The vultures also regurgitated their food and left droppings and feathers all around the pool and deck.

In Kentucky, vultures have been known to devour newborn calves and lambs and even small pets. Each year farmers in the state lose $300,000 to $500,000 worth of livestock to the birds. "With a vulture, it's like someone came in with a skinning knife," herder Derek Lawson told the Louisville Courier-Journal. "It's all clean cuts. Usually, the hide's completely cut off, whereas with a coyote or dogs, it'll be torn and jagged."

Black vultures normally migrate from South America up through Texas and along the southeastern U.S. to Pennsylvania, but experts say climate change may be encouraging the birds to sit tight in one place longer. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 means they're federally protected, and their nests can only be disrupted if there are no chicks or eggs in them.

Way back in 1876, a farmer's wife in Rankin, Kentucky, reported seeing two-inch shreds of grisly meat falling from the sky like snow. The strange phenomenon drew international interest and coverage from Scientific American and The New York Times. Numerous theories were hatched about the "great Kentucky meat shower" as it came to be known, but the most compelling was that the flakes were projectile vomit from vultures flying overhead.

Scientists believe one bird panicked and disgorged the contents of its stomach, causing the rest of the flock to follow suit.