They blacken the sky like a biblical plague, destroying the landscape, bringing disease, and even death. And bird poop. Lots of bird poop. This is no country to wash your car.
Welcome to life in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and yet another reason to love living in Southern California. All winter long, rather than migrating south, millions of blackbirds and European starlings have been calling this small town home. The disease they carry, histoplasmosis, can cause lung infections in humans, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and can even kill small dogs.
And like some winter wonderland nightmare, these birds are making it snow in their own disgusting manner: with tons of bird poop. Christian County Judge-Executive told the Yahoo.com, “I’ve got an apple tree that has almost turned white. Any vehicle parked outside is covered up.”
David Chiles, president of the Little River Audubon Society and bird enthusiast who teaches biology at Hopkinsville High School, says the reason the birds aren’t migrating south is due to global warming. “The weather, the climate plays a big role,” Chiles claims. “They somehow establish a roost south of where the ground is frozen solid. They are ground feeders, feeding on leftover crops and insects. If the fields are frozen solid, they can’t feed.”
Authorities have taken drastic action to get the birds to move along, hiring pest control companies to do the dirty work. McGee Pest Control has setup “bird-bangers,” a virtual artillery attack aimed at the trees the birds roost in in an attempt to scare them away.
Nothing has worked yet, but at least the birds haven’t turned violent, like in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 classic, The Birds. At least, not yet (insert dramatic music here).
- Carlos Delgado, CBS Radio