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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 February, 2004, 16:16 GMT
Trees go as scarecrow flops
Starlings enjoy life in the trees near Tesco - but not for long
Trees housing thousands of starlings are to be chopped down after a hi-tech scarecrow failed to drive the birds from a west Wales town.

An electronic box which used ultrasonic sound and strobe light left the birds distinctly unimpressed, and they have continued to create a mighty stink and mess near Tesco in Carmarthen.

The supermarket has now been given permission to fell the trees by council officials, who say the birds are a health hazard.

It has given up hope in the 21st century version of Worzel Gummidge, even though it replicated the noises made by birds of prey to frighten the starlings into thinking they were under attack.

We can't allow them to nest there any longer, they are causing such a mess which is also a health hazard
Councillor Pam Palmer

Carmarthenshire council's executive board member for environment Pam Palmer said the trees were not listed.

"Unfortunately, no matter what we did the starlings refused to budge," she added.

"There are so many of them even the sounds of the birds of prey failed to do the trick.

Electronic scarecrow
The electronic bird scarer failed to drive the starlings away

"But we can't allow them to nest there any longer, they are causing such a mess which is also a health hazard.

"The trees will now be chopped down to resolve the problem.

"It was not acceptable to leave them where they were, the cleanliness of the town centre and the safety of the public is our priority."

The failure of the bird scarcer, which was installed in January, has come as little surprise to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Last month spokesman Julian Hughes told BBC Wales News Online that even though starlings were in dramatic decline in the UK they were still common in towns and cities.

He said birds often became used to noises and lights associated with urban areas and people should just become more tolerant of living with them.

Birds unmoved by hi-tech scarecrow
20 Jan 04  |  South West Wales
Hi-tech scarecrow tackles stench
14 Jan 04  |  South West Wales
Bird survey is 'wake-up' call
13 Jan 04  |  Northern Ireland
'Polluting' starlings bawled out
23 Aug 02  |  England
'Red alert' for garden birds
16 Aug 02  |  England

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