Light-and-sound attacks used against Rome's starlings

November 16, 2012
Starlings migrating from northern Europe fly on November 8 over Rome. Tired of bird droppings on the city's most famous monuments, local authorities in Rome are resorting to unusual measures to try and scare off a million starlings that migrate to the Eternal City every year.

Tired of bird droppings on the city's most famous monuments, local authorities in Rome are resorting to unusual measures to try and scare off a million starlings that migrate to the Eternal City every year.

Armed with loudspeakers and light projectors, workers dressed in white overalls and masks have been seen walking around at sunset along the tree-lined embankments of the Tiber River where tend to congregate.

The blast out shrieks of alarm used by the starlings and the projectors are shone into the trees to scare off the birds.

"Their reaction is immediate," city hall said in a statement on Friday.

"The starlings abandon the area and get as far away as possible from the area, which they consider dangerous," it said, adding that the method "respects the environment and the birds and does not create a nuisance for residents."

The sound-and-light attacks last around an hour and are always carried out at dusk for three days in a row to ensure the desired effect.

Rome has the highest number of starlings in Italy—around a million are estimated to migrate there every autumn and winter.

Explore further: Study reveals why starling females cheat

Related Stories

Study reveals why starling females cheat

June 20, 2007

While women may cheat on men for personal reasons, superb starling females appear to stray from their mates for the sake of their chicks, according to recent Cornell research published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society ...

Starling flocks fly like a single entity (w/ Video)

June 17, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- An animal group such as a school of fish or a flock of starlings can seem like a single entity governed by a collective mind. A new mathematical analysis of flight dynamics in flocks of starlings suggest ...

A tool to measure stress hormone in birds -- feathers

August 16, 2011

When faced with environmental threats like bad weather, predators or oil spills, wild birds secrete a hormone called corticosterone. Traditionally, researchers have analyzed blood samples to detect corticosterone levels in ...

Hawks to patrol Singapore shopping district: report

October 12, 2011

Businesses along Singapore's famous Orchard Road shopping street plan to deploy trained hawks to scare off thousands of birds whose droppings rain down on pedestrians' heads, a report said Wednesday.

Recommended for you

Researchers design first artificial ribosome

July 29, 2015

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University have engineered a tethered ribosome that works nearly as well as the authentic cellular component, or organelle, that produces all the proteins ...

Studies reveal details of error correction in cell division

July 29, 2015

Cell biologists led by Thomas Maresca at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with collaborators elsewhere, report an advance in understanding the workings of an error correction mechanism that helps cells detect and ...

Researchers discover new type of mycovirus

July 29, 2015

Researchers, led by Dr Robert Coutts, Leverhulme Research Fellow from the School of Life and Medical Sciences at the University of Hertfordshire, and Dr Ioly Kotta-Loizou, Research Associate at Imperial College, have discovered ...

Stressed out plants send animal-like signals

July 29, 2015

University of Adelaide research has shown for the first time that, despite not having a nervous system, plants use signals normally associated with animals when they encounter stress.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.