Could you imagine experiencing poor road conditions due to millions of bird droppings?
— BBC News Magazine (@BBCNewsMagazine) November 14, 2013
Rome has been experiencing an annual starling migration since 1926, and due to financial cuts has recently suffered relatively severe consequences.
An estimated five million starlings have been nesting in Rome this week. The birds have been eating copious amounts of olives and leaving quite a large mess behind – all over the streets, cars, buildings, and statues. Lungotevere Boulevard was actually closed due to a high risk for traffic accidents caused by the greasy bird droppings.
In the past, city officials have been able to prevent this issue by pruning trees and playing loud falcon cries throughout the city. This year, it was not in the city’s budget to employ these tactics – and for that, they’re suffering. Typically 20 individuals are hired to walk the timber line playing falcon cries under the trees where the birds traditionally roost – a cost of 40,000 euros.
Officials are urging pedestrians to wear rain boots and carry umbrellas. Motorists are being reminded to proceed with caution.