SCHOHARIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – As spring has sprung and nature comes back to life, a turf war is developing in Schoharie Village and NEWS10 is on the frontlines.
Here in the village of Schoharie where most neighbors get along, one woman is battling it out with the community’s newest residents.
Meredith Foster has a new neighbor 10 feet from her back porch that she says threatens her safety.
“They started moving in in 2019. They started scoping out my property,” said Foster.
These neighbors don’t just live next door, they live in a tree. Meredith has named him Daryl and says she has been dive-bombed several times by him and his family, while working in her backyard or relaxing on the patio.
“They are very aggressive. And if you make a movement, they don’t like, they can go for you,” said Foster.
She says she has reached out to several agencies for help with her fickle feathered friends, including the Department of Environmental Conservation.
“They can go much further south but really what’s happening is if there is a milder temperature and prey available, they will hang out in certain areas. Once the weather becomes unsuitable, they hop a little further south,” said Wildlife Biologist Rachel Bakerian.
Merlin falcons are a migratory bird that stay in areas like the Capital Region during the spring to nest for the breeding season.
Unfortunately for Meredith Foster, these particular falcons have taken up residency in her backyard.
“I have a decoy that’s supposed to scare them. I’ve grilled back there, smoke is supposed [to bother them]. They’re not afraid of a thing. I just don’t want anything to happen to them. I would like them relocated or something,” said Foster.
The DEC says that because of their protected status, Meredith’s solutions are easier said than done. It would require a special permit from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to have them removed.
“The best thing you can do is just be tolerant during their breeding season. And as you are going past that nest tree, just make sure you have something taller than yourself,” said Bakerian.