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