The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

July 18, 2013

Buzzards a problem in Keosauqua

KEOSAUQUA — Keosauqua has a bird problem that's come home to roost: specifically, buzzards.

If you hear some loud noises and fireworks near the courthouse tower over the next few weeks, don’t be alarmed. That’s the sheriff’s office just trying to “relocate” the problem birds.

Dozens of buzzards use the tower to roost in the morning and evening, according to Sheriff Dan Tedrow.

“We had some complaints by courthouse employees that when we get a north or west wind, the droppings fall onto the parking lot. It’s not very sanitary, and there is a bad smell.” In addition, “their manure is acidic and corrosive to metal,” Tedrow said.

The sheriff’s office contacted the DNR, who suggested making the tower “inconvenient to them over a period of time.” So sheriff’s deputies and some others are firing blanks and soon will have a new arsenal: fireworks fired from pistols.

“There will be some screamer fireworks,” he said. “So you will hear boom and screamers. It’s worked at other towers.”

The noise isn’t terribly loud, and they will try to make sure it’s done during daylight hours, in the morning around 6:30-7 a.m. and in the evening before dark.

“We apologize for the noise, and we ask residents to extend patience,” Tedrow said.

Hopefully, the buzzard problem will be solved.

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