According to Illinois News, Black Vultures have moved their territory north, and have begun preying on cattle in Southern Illinois farms. Teresa Steckler, a commercial agriculture educator at the University of Illinois Extension, says the vultures will not only attack cattle and calves, but other animals as well.
Steckler said besides the reported cases, some farmers might not realize they are losing calves to attacks by the vultures.
“And I think that many farmers who have calves may chalk it up to losing the calves to something else, when in actuality,it is a vulture attack,” Steckler said.
Steckler said that the black vultures will use a coordinated attack to go after cattle, teaming up on a mother cow while others attack the calve from another direction. She said the attacks remind her of another predator, the hyena.
Counter measures that farmers can take to get rid of the birds are limited, as they are a protected species and cannot be killed. Steckler recommends that farmers in the Southern Illinois practice extra vigilance to protect their cattle, and says that Canada goose decoys could help. Unfortunately, the birds are extremely bold and have been known to attack close to barns.
Image Courtesy Illinois News