Becketwood Cooperative
An Active, Independent 55+ Community of Owners in Minneapolis

Unwelcome Persistent Vultures!

by Vanjie Bratt, Becketwood Member

Last week I made a huge pot of chicken broth — using mostly backs, necks and chicken feet, which I simmered slowly for about 18 hours. On Friday afternoon, March 30, I strained the rich broth off the bones, skin and sinews and stored a gallon of delicious stock in small freezer jars.

The bones and other residue needed to cool down before I placed them in compostable bags. What better place to cool the chicken refuse than in a shallow pan on my fifth-floor deck—especially on these frosty chilly nights.

This is a process I have used many times these last 15 years at Becketwood.

I would not have dreamed what happened next!

Saturday morning, March 31, I awakened to see two huge ugly turkey vultures on the deck having a pre-Easter feast! No way were they going to leave! I was finally able to scare them off by repeatedly knocking on the sliding glass doors leading to the deck. I cleaned up the mess they had left—and thought, with a sigh of relief, that’s done! No more vultures!

But, they were not gone for long. In fact they came back at least two to three times a day looking for their chicken feast—even pecking on the sliding glass doors to get my attention. They were persistent creatures!

Until Friday, April 6, I had no possible solution. The turkeys were back in the morning. Fortuitously, the window blind in my bedroom had broken and two guys from Blind Installation and Repair had arrived to fix the problem.

When I told them about my unwelcome visitors, one of them suggested that I attach a string (he gave me a piece they use for blinds) to a CD disk, and then attach the other end of the string to the deck railing. He assured me that the shiny silver disk would twirl and spin in the sun and wind scaring the turkeys away.

It did!! Thank you guys! The turkeys are gone, the window blind works, all is well!  Anyone for a bowl of delicious chicken broth soup!

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  • Nancy Christen April 25, 2018, 2:40 pm

    Excellent story and pictures! Maybe if it happens again, you can open your unit for tours. It does remind us that nature doesn’t want to waste anything so the turkey vultures were right there to clean up the mess of bones and sinews!

    Thanks for such a well told story!

  • Mimi Holmes April 25, 2018, 5:19 pm

    I would have welcomed them! How exciting to see such huge birds up close!

  • Ruth Gaylord April 25, 2018, 11:47 pm

    Love your story, Vanjie!!! I’d eat your chicken soup any day of the week!!

  • Barbara White April 26, 2018, 2:09 am

    Very funny story, Vanjie, and very cleverly told. When my husband and I were living in Bloomington, at Christmas time I made a big batch of Hawaiian Beef. It was hot when guests arrived and were served. I put the rest out by the front door for it to cool while we visited at the table, intending to divide it into freezer bags later. At one point we heard funny sounds, and discovered one raccoon sitting in the big pot and another raccoon scooping out beef with his paw. I had to throw everything away.

  • Catherine Nicholl May 7, 2018, 2:51 am

    Those are most unattractive birds! I’m glad you got rid of them.