Hereford & Worcester

Hereford residents plagued by 'menace' starlings

Starlings in flight Image copyright David Kjaer
Image caption The birds are known for their spectacular "murmurations"

Residents of a Hereford street are calling for some nearby hedges to be cut down because they say they are being plagued by "menace" starlings.

Between 15,000 and 20,000 of the birds, known for their aerial acrobatics - or "murmurations" - began roosting in Leylandii hedges on Macmillan Close in Hereford in January.

Residents say the birds are noisy and make a "terrific mess".

But the council said it would not act to "harm or control" the birds.

'Covered in bird muck'

Resident Steve Payne said: "The starlings are quite a sight to look at but it's just awful for residents.

"They gather in the early evening to do these acrobatics in the sky, then they go into a Leylandii hedge at the back of our properties to roost.

"We get people here standing and filming them, and it's a lovely spectacle, but when you live in the flight path it's really not pleasant at all.

"The street is covered in bird muck, you can't put washing out and we are having to wash our cars every day.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionStarlings are known for their aerial acrobatics

"Last night, I had to take an umbrella out with me. That hedge has got to go."

Mr Payne added: "We understand they'll leave the area in a few weeks and fly off to mainland Europe but we are concerned they will come back next year."

Paul Bedford, who works as a carer and visits a resident on the street three times a day said after 45 minutes with his client he could "hardly see" out of his car window because of the bird mess.

"At night, my client can hardly sleep," he said.

The hedge is on the site of an HP Bulmer production plant. Heineken, which owns the plant, said cutting back the trees was "one option" it was looking into and that it would notify residents of its decision in the next few days.

Marc Willimont, head of environmental health at Herefordshire Council, said: "Starlings are protected wild birds so Herefordshire Council will not take any action to harm or control them."

Image caption Residents of Macmillan Close say the birds are noisy and are causing a mess on cars and pavements

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites