Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Scare off Buzzards

By Sarah Coennen
Buzzards are scavengers who often roost in dead trees.

Buzzards, also known as turkey vultures, are scavengers. They eat dead carcasses as their main food supply. These birds live on dead trees, and on rooftops. It is important to note a few things about these large birds. Just because they are roosting on your dead trees does not mean that they are there because of a food source. Buzzards are social animals and will tend to stick with several of their own kind. It should also be noted that cutting down dead trees will not necessarily help your problem because they might relocate to your rooftop, which could be more hazardous. If you are worried they will harm your small children or have concerns for your environment in general, get rid of them immediately.

Shake your trees after dark to encourage the buzzards to move their roosting place. Repeat for a few nights until they are gone.

Hang shiny objects attached to strings in the trees where the buzzards roost. Be careful with this method. The bright, shiny surfaces reflecting light will spook the buzzards, but at the same time, they are very curious creatures. If they discover that the shiny objects (such as old or scratched CDs) are no threat to them, they will turn them into toys.

Place a taut line over the roosting areas if they are roosting on your house. The line should be 6 to 8 inches above the roof where they are roosting.

Spray the buzzards with the water hose whenever they roost in the dead trees or on your roof to encourage them to find alternative roosting areas.


Things You Will Need

  • Bright, shiny objects
  • String
  • Water hose


  • Do not try to poison or otherwise kill the buzzards. This can create more problems by inviting not only more buzzards, but other scavengers such as coyotes and foxes, in addition to making the environment unsanitary.