Scar­ers de­clared a success


Palmer­ston North’s bird scar­ers are dis­cour­ag­ing star­lings from roost­ing in the trees where their poo causes the most prob­lems.

City coun­cil hor­ti­cul­tural en­gi­neer Mur­ray Phillips said the num­bers of birds flock­ing into The Square had re­duced by about half, and those that re­mained were choos­ing trees that did not have speak­ers in­ter­mit­tently sound­ing off at them.

Al­most $50,000 was spent in­stalling the de­vices in trees from the li­brary cor­ner of The Square to the ANZ cor­ner and around to Main St. They went live on June 26.

Phillips said it was never the in­ten­tion to drive birds out of The Square al­to­gether, but to dis­perse them. ‘‘And we are very pleased with the re­sults to date. At this stage, we would con­sider it a success.’’

Two weeks on, Phillips said it was no­tice­able that the birds were no longer ar­riv­ing in such large flocks.

Those that did be­gin to set­tle in the trees around the perime­ter of The Square were most likely to move on when they heard a burst of star­ling dis­tress calls from the speak­ers.

Some of them flew away from The Square al­to­gether, while oth­ers set­tled in trees sur­rounded by grass or gar­dens where they were not a prob­lem.

The ever­green mag­no­lias in the me­dian strip and the po­hutakawa be­tween the li­brary and Main St seemed more pop­u­lar than ever.

Less bird poo needed to be cleaned from foot­paths around The Square in the morn­ings.

‘‘At this stage, we would con­sider it a success.’’

Mur­ray Phillips


Palmer­ston North’s bird scar­ers have re­sulted in trees al­most empty at dusk.

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