They're back again, and you might have seen them on top of several water towers here in Rochester. But what are they-- and why are they there?

As it turns out, your eyes aren't deceiving you-- those ARE brightly-colored wind dancers, perched high atop several RPU water towers. (For instance, I first noticed one on the water tower just outside Scheel's at Apache Mall in Rochester earlier this week.)

You know what a wind dancer is, right? They're the same kind of things you might see at a store or car dealer to draw attention to the big sale they might be having. They use the breeze to move in the wind as if they're dancing. (Thus the name!)

Well, according to RPU's Plugged In, those wind dancers are perched atop several water towers to scare off... turkey vultures. For real.

Much like all the mess the crows cause in downtown Rochester each fall, turkey vultures had a habit of nesting on and around water towers. And, much like the crows do downtown in the fall and winter, those buzzards create quite the mess in, on and around those water towers that RPU then has to clean up.

The constant motion created by these wind dancers, though, scares the birds away, eliminates the mess, and saves some money, too. RPU says cleaning up after the birds used to cost "thousands of dollars," but installing a wind dancer costs "just a fraction."

So THAT'S what they are-- and why they're there. It's a pretty ingenious solution if you ask me.

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