Everglades Vulture Attacks Damage Vehicles at Royal Palm Visitor Center


Vulture Damage at
Royal Palm Visitor Center

Protect your ride!
 

 

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Vultures Damage Vehicles
at Royal Palm Visitor Center

As many as 60 or 70 vultures may congregate in the parking lot at the Royal Palm Visitor Center in Everglades National Park. The birds are notorious for attacking cars and destroying the rubber and vinyl on vehicles.

Left to work on their own for several hours, the birds may severely damage windshield wipers, windshields and car hoods (as they claw at the windshield wipers).

Sun roofs seem especially favored. Motorcycles are not immune, either.

Although vultures now gather at Royal Palm in much greater numbers than in the past, nothing can be done to drive away the birds: they are classified as a federally protected migratory species. Thus, you can't shoot them regardless of the damage they cause.

Steps to take:

Cover your vehicle with a tarp or series of tarps. The park service has them in limited numbers for visitors' use near the Royal Palm restrooms. Bring two tarps of your own in case they are all in use. Bungee cords (rubber) do work and are easy to use but not as well as rope, which can be difficult to attach.

Bring one tarp to cover your vehicle roof and front and back windshields completely. Use the second tarp to protect the hood. Vultures know to shove away a windshield tarp.

An RV, which may have rubber on the top, is more difficult to protect.

Park in full sun

Lacking a tarp, cover any exposed rubber with a wet sheet or towel.

You can shout at the birds to try and drive them away from your vehicle but they may return when you leave.

Vultures seem to be most active early in the day when there are only a few people around, then settle down a little. Every day is different.

The Royal Palm Visitor Center is the common parking area for the Anhinga Trail and Gumbo Limbo Trail, so don't avoid Royal Palm.

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