Wednesday, November 08, 2006

boom! explosion!

here's an unusual headline from the star: Bird alert: Starling explosions begin. my goodness, does this mean that starlings are going to start exploding? watch out!

no, the truth isn't quite that weird:

Federal bird experts today begin using pyrotechnics, lasers and recorded distress calls to rid Monument Circle of troublesome starlings.

Uniformed employees of the U.S. Department of Agriculture will work in the four-block area around Monument Circle, the first block of South Meridian Street and near the Statehouse during winter evenings, according to a news release from Indianapolis Downtown Inc.

what a great lesson: if you don't like animals, just shoot fireworks at 'em. that'll teach them!

"Starlings are non-native, alien and invasive birds that drive out the native species and compete for nesting space with songbirds," the agency said.

"In addition, starlings pose potential health risks and sanitation issues to humans and animals and cause significant damage and expense to public spaces, memorials and private property."

okay, that much i can probably agree with. but forgive me for thinking that the plan is more than a bit silly. lasers? pyrotechnics? distress calls? maybe those could work in keeping the starlings away, but at what cost? if i spent a lot of time downtown, i don't think i would want to hear a bunch of explosions, or see people shooting off what look like starter pistols all over the place. in fact, i think it would freak me out. and what about pets? it'll be like the fourth of july every day. and if you've ever had a nervous dog, you know upset they get on independence day. (or, after the recent change to indiana's fireworks laws, the period of a couple weeks before and after the fourth.)

furthermore, even if this works and scares the starlings away, they're just going to go somewhere else. this doesn't really solve any starling problems; it just moves our starling problem (if you agree we even had one) somewhere else. how does that help? and who does it help?

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