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Last Updated: Monday November 24 2008 14:22 GMT

Bird mess causes chaos in Rome

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Starlings cause chaos in Rome, Italy

Bird watchers in Rome are getting more than they bargained for with giant flocks of starlings causing chaos with their bird poo!

Millions of the birds fly into Rome in Italy every year to stay for the winter but leave loads of bird mess behind.

Earlier in November a plane was forced to make an emergency landing after flying into a flock of them.

Town officials have tried to solve the problem by using a team of people to scare them away, called 'bird busters'.

They go to the areas where the birds are staying, and, after covering up in protective clothing to escape the poo, they use megaphones to scare the birds away.

A bike in Rome
Cyclists in Rome have to watch where they sit
They play the birds' own distress calls through the megaphones, which does frighten them off, but they are just flying to other locations and not out of the city as hoped.

Which means bikes, cars, pavements and the residents of Rome are left to live with the messy problem the birds leave behind.