Update: I called Con Ed today (Monday) about the possibility of a gas leak, and they referred the call to the Hastings Fire Department, which checked it out promptly. Fire Chief Robert Russak reported to police that there there is no gas in the area, but there may be a slight odor because old oil tanks are being removed. However, he said the vultures are likely here for another reason. This is mating season and they tend to cluster together — so apparently Hastings Gardens is one of the lucky spots.
Turkey vultures converged on the Hastings Gardens complex on North Broadway yesterday, with as many as seven at a time perching atop a towering Norway spruce.
Neighbors said they haven't seen any dead or dying animals in the area that would attract the birds. However, one resident pointed out that vultures are also drawn to the scent of gas, and she said she was going to alert the superintendent. The scent of ethyl mercaptan is present in a gas leak as well as in decaying animals.