SHELBY, N.C. -- Residents in Shelby are wondering why hundreds of not very attractive turkey vultures have descended on their neighborhood.
There seems to be no reason why they are there and no indication when, if ever, they will decide to move on.
Shelby is called "The City of Pleasant Living," and it seems the vultures agree.
The large black birds have been circling and sleeping in trees around the city's Peach Street neighborhood for days.
"They are scavengers and they are looking for dead animals or something like that," said neighbor Dave Whisnant.
Whisnant is right. The vultures will not swoop down to chase your dog or cat, but they might go after any pet food left outside.
Dale Guffey was walking through the neighborhood as she does most evenings and said she is not really afraid of the prehistoric looking buzzards.
"It is the sheer number of them that can be intimidating sometimes," she said.
If one lands in your yard you may be tempted to go out and make some noise to scare it away. Bad idea. They will likely vomit. It is the bird's defense mechanism.
"I don't know, I guess it reminds me of the Hitchcock movie," said another neighbor, Natolyn Brown.
Residents are being advised not to even think of trying to shoot the vultures or capture them because they are federally protected birds.
Even Shelby Police Chief Jeffrey Ledford could only wonder, why Shelby?
"Great town. Great place and wonderful people. I'm just not sure about the birds," he said.