ROSEVILLE (CBS13) — Dozens of predatory birds have made a Roseville neighborhood their new home, and they’re leaving a big mess.

Birts known as white-tailed kites are mostly nesting and hunting, but in one family’s front yard, they are regurgitating hundreds of pellets filled with small animal remains. The pellets are a normal product of a part of a bird’s digestive system, but according to wildlife experts, dumping them all in just one yard is not.

“I’ve been telling everyone I know about these — to come in and watch the birds,” said Eladio Constancio, a neighbor.

The neighbors keep a watchful eye on these birds that arrive every evening around 5.

White-tailed kites.

“I kept asking people, have you ever seen these birds? And I found out what they were,” said Ernie Franco, another neighbor.

They can be spotted in tall trees as the sun sets, but some time during the night they end up in smaller trees — specifically in Martha Lopez’s front yard.

“Usually when I come out here daily, there’s a nice mess on the car so I have my hose ready to spray it all off of there,” she said.

White-tailed kite pellets

The poop is a nuisance, but Lopez is more concerned about the pellets. They are made of bones and fur birds regurgitate after eating their prey whole.

“Why here? What are you doing here?” Lopez asked.

Hundreds of pellets filled her yard at one point, Lopez said. “It was just flooded.”

A local wildlife rescue group has picked them up, but Lopez fears the yard will fill up again. So we wanted to know, what can be done about the birds?

Nothing. Roseville Animal Control says it can’t help.

White-tailed kites are a protected species, so they cannot be shot or trapped unless you get a permit from the Department of Fish and Wildlife. But those are given out in very rare circumstances, usually if the birds life is in danger.

So all Lopez can do is wait and hope they leave.

“Born and raised here and I’ve never seen this in my entire life, so its just kind of bizarre,” she said

A wildlife expert said the pellets don’t pose a major health risk but you should use gloves if you touch them. The pellets gathered from Martha’s property will be used to educate a kids nature group next month.

Comments (3)
  1. Bruce G Miller says:

    This is the normal behavior of White-tailed kites. I’m not sure how they choose the tree they gather in but it can change every few days. They seem to like tall trees.
    When I lived in old Elk Grove, there was a big Oak tree in the neighborhood where the kites would gather. I never heard anyone complaining about it nor was there ever a news story about it. Most recently, I saw kites gathering in trees along Laguna Creek near Rancho Dr.
    I don’t know of any other raptor that displays this kind of behavior.

  2. cfb says:

    Bright flashing lights and loud noises until the problem is resolved, Ms. Lopez.

  3. Deren Ross says:

    This is a temporary communal winter roost. The pairs should be getting close to moving away soon and onto their nesting territories. They’re primarily feeding on voles found in agricultural areas of the valley. The kite nearly went extinct in California by the1930’s due to habitat loss, shooting, and egg collecting. The population has rebounded and they’re fairly common today. Glad to hear the pellets are being collected and used for education.

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