How to Get Rid of Buzzards

Updated April 17, 2017

Black and turkey vultures, also known as buzzards in the U.S., perform a valuable service by eating dead animals that would otherwise spread disease in the environment. Unfortunately, these buzzards sometimes like to roost in undesirable areas such as the trees and playground equipment in your yard and even your home's rooftops and fencing, leaving behind smelly acidic droppings. Buzzards are destructive, and knowing how to get rid of them will give you not only peace of mind but also a cleaner yard.

Make noise around the buzzards' favourite roosting area by clapping your hands, yelling and shaking branches of the trees (if this is where they are roosting). Buzzards do not like loud, jarring sounds.

Fill a cap gun with cap shots according to the manufacturer's directions and shoot into the buzzard roosting areas. A cap gun makes loud, startling noise without harming the buzzards.

Attach your garden hose to a motion-activated water sprinkler and position the sprinkler so it is aiming at the middle of the buzzards' roosting area. Adjust the sprinkler to the "jet" setting, according to manufacturer's instructions and then turn on the water source. Movement from the buzzards will trigger the motion sensors on the sprinkler, activating it and spraying the water. Buzzards dislike water, particularly the pressurised stream from the "jet" setting on the sprinkler.

Cut pieces of reflective or iridescent ribbon with scissors and tie them on the tree branches and around other buzzard roosting areas. The pieces of ribbon should be long enough for at least one foot of ribbon to "fly" in a wind or light breeze. The sound and flashy movement of the ribbon should startle buzzards.

Install clear monofilament fishing line about six to eight inches above the perch area where the buzzards roost. Make sure the fishing line is stretched tight enough so the buzzards' weight does not make it sag or break. This works best for roof lines, fence tops and the tops of small buildings such as storage sheds or even a swing set. Use existing structures on your roof such as your chimney and ventilation piping to tie the fishing line on. If this is not feasible, install the clamps in strategic areas such as each end of a fence line or roof line and then stretch and tie the fishing line taut from one clamp to another. The fishing line helps prevent the buzzards from landing and roosting, prompting them to find a more comfortable place away from your home.


Stick to a regular schedule for several days when using noise such as clapping your hands or using a cap gun to scare the buzzards away. The buzzards are persistent and could return, so the noise process may have to be repeated several times before the buzzards leave for good. You can use thin baling wire in place of the clear monofilament line to prevent the buzzards from landing and roosting on certain surfaces.


The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 protects hundreds of birds, including the black and turkey vultures, also known as buzzards. You could face a fine and jail time if you shoot, harm or kill one. Therefore, you must use a humane method, such as one of the steps above, to get rid of buzzards.

Things You'll Need

  • Cap Gun
  • Cap gun shot refills
  • Garden water hose
  • Motion-activated water sprinkler
  • Reflective or iridescent ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Clear 80-pound monofilament fishing line
  • Clamps
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About the Author

Tiana Mortimer has been Executive Director for a nonprofit boychoir organization since 1999 and a freelance writer since 2004. Her nonprofit work has been published in a variety of regional publications and she has ghostwritten hundred of articles for the internet. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Operations Management and Marketing from the University of Houston.