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Ichikawa's ire rises with droppings deluge

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  • Ichikawa's ire rises with droppings deluge

    No shortage of birds here.....

    October 22, 2006
    ICHIKAWA, Chiba -- Ichikawa residents are struggling to cope with thousands of starlings occupying power lines in the city and sending a rainfall of droppings down on them, Ichikawa Municipal Government officials said.

    The starlings have occupied large swaths of the power lines near Gyotoku Station on the Tokyo Metro's Tozai subway line and are bombarding passers-by with their fecal missiles.

    City officials have tried all sorts of methods to shoo the birds away and, though effective up to a certain point, the problem remains and starlings continue to, well, pooh-pooh efforts to fight them.

    Other options aimed at accommodating the birds are also being considered, but nothing to solve the problem has yet been devised.

    Starlings started roosting on the power lines toward the end of 2004, prompting a spate of complaints from residents about the possibility they could worsen an outbreak of bird flu.

    City officials responded by pruning trees in the area and placing plastic spikes on the electricity lines to make it difficult for the starlings to land on them. There was an estimated 5,000 starlings roosting in the area at one stage, but the measures reduced their number to about one-fifth of its peak.

    Nonetheless, the problem of the birds' droppings has remained a constant. With birds landing on the power lines even after the spikes has been added to them, city officials on Oct. 10 installed an improved version where the spikes stuck up both vertically and horizontally. Expectations of success are not great, though.

    "As soon as we put the spikes in place, the starlings came down to roost on them," an Ichikawa Municipal Government official said. (Mainichi)

    "The next major advancement in the health of American people will be determined by what the individual is willing to do for himself"-- John Knowles, Former President of the Rockefeller Foundation