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The Dan and Carol Ann O’Byrne Story

 Dan and Carol Ann O'Byrne thought they were building their dream house. What they got instead was an nightmare eerily reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock's movie, "The Birds."

After their first house burned down in 1994, the O'Byrnes used the insurance money to build a new house on their three-acre plot in Gardiner, New York. But they have been unable to enjoy their new 3-bedroom Cape Cod because they have been harassed by a swarm of vultures. Constantly hovering around the house, the vultures frequently perch on the deck, roof and backyard fence searching for food, which, Mrs. O'Byrne is convinced, includes their dog Jack.

The vultures have inflicted considerable damage on their property but the O'Byrnes are prevented from getting rid of them because vultures are protected by the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. The O'Byrnes have applied for a special permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to shoot some of the birds to try to scare the others away but it's a long cumbersome process with no guarantee of approval. Says Richard Chipman, New York state director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, "They are trying hard to do the right thing."

In the meantime, the O'Byrnes can only watch as the vultures tear up their house. The birds rip up the roof with their talons, ruin the deck finish with droppings and repeatedly shred the window screens.

Dan O'Byrne has tried to scare off the vultures by playing tapes of shot gun blasts but that only caused the neighbors to call the police. Moving is not an attractive option since - not surprisingly - the property value has dropped from $189,000 to $142,000 and it's hard to find any buyers. But the O'Byrnes want to stick it out. Says Dan, "I built this house out of love. I don't want to give it up."
Source: People Magazine