Published May 31, 2013

MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. – The Army Corps of Engineers Mountain Home Project Office personnel will begin using pyrotechnics next week to disperse  hundreds of vultures that continue to damage Bull Shoals Dam and powerhouse.

Pyrotechnics will be only be used during daylight hours. The pyrotechnics are similar to fireworks that make loud noises to discourage the vultures from remaining in the area.

The vultures have been causing damage to the softer more pliable materials found on the roofs of the dam, powerhouse and other nearby facilities.  They have even caused damage to vehicles parked in the area by pecking and stripping windshield wiper blades, door insulation, and other soft exterior materials.

In November 2012 the Corps used a propane cannon that did not fire projectiles, or physically harm the vultures, however, it did make a very loud “thunder clap” noise. It was designed to discourage the vultures from remaining in the area but had minimal results.

 Then in December 2012 bird spikes and chemical "hotfoot" tactile repellents were installed and applied to parts of the infrastructure.  The bird spikes have helped keep the vultures off vulnerable parts of the dam, but the repellent has had little effect.

In March effigies of dead vultures were constructed out of plastic material and hung "upside down in various areas of vulture usage on the dam. These also have been relatively ineffective.

The use of bird spikes and a bird netting "carport" for employee's to park under have stopped the majority of the vulture’s damage to the structure’s roofs and vehicles. However, the caustic vulture droppings are still damaging metal and painted surfaces and discolored the concrete in areas where they tend to roost.

For more information, call the Mountain Home Project Office at (870) 425-2700, ext. 1400.  Recreation information can be found on the Internet at, on Facebook at, and on Twitter at!/usacelittlerock.  

Bruce Caldwell

Release no. 13-038