Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Editorials

March 22, 2013

Proactive response

Princeton taking bird problem seriously

— — We are glad to see that city officials in Princeton are taking a proactive response to a nuisance roosting problem that has developed in recent weeks along Main Street. This roost of starlings is a serious problem, and it should be treated as such with appropriate action.

Thousands of starlings started becoming a nuisance after they began roosting at a structure on Main Street in Princeton. The city had received about a dozen complaints concerning the birds by late February. Tenants of the building impacted by the roost have stated that dealing with the birds is the city’s responsibility, and the city has responded to their plea accordingly. The starlings are apparently roosting on ivy growing on the structure in question.

Such mega roosts can be a frustrating problem. That’s why it is good to see that the city of Princeton is taking this matter seriously. And city Code Enforcement Officer Bill Buzzo Jr. appears to be taking a proactive approach to the problem by actively soliciting solutions, and proposing possible action.

Among the ideas currently on the table, or being considered, is cutting back the actual ivy lines. The city is currently checking to make sure that the removal of the vines will not damage the actual building.

Hiring a falcon, banging on boxes when the birds arrive to roost in the evening, and buying ranular repellent, pouring it into socks, and hanging them on the vines, are among the suggestions received by the city.

Beating on boxes would require exact timing, according to Buzzo. But if the distraction occurs when the birds arrive to roost, it could scare them away everytime they try to roost in a particular location. And that in return could force the starlings to find a new location.

“You might have to do it three or four nights in a row before you completely convince them to go elsewhere,” Buzzo said last week. “There’s a lot of other theories. I’ve contacted some professional companies, three or four, and they’ve suggested everything from sonic repellers, lights, and even renting fake or live hawks or owls.”

We are glad to see that Buzzo, and city officials, are exploring all options. One thing is for sure. Do nothing, and the birds won’t go away anytime soon. Take action now, and disturb their roosting site, and they will eventually take flight outside of the city.

We can certainly relate to the frustration that some citizens in Princeton are currently dealing with.

For several years, the Daily Telegraph’s own parking lot had been an unwelcomed mega roost with crows leaving behind unwanted droppings on employee vehicles. So we realize the extent of the problem that the city of Princeton is dealing with. And we also realize there isn’t an easy solution to the problem.

That’s why it is good to see the spirt of cooperation between city leaders and their citizens who are dealing with the roost, and the proactive steps Buzzo is taking to chase off the birds.

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