Parsons using fire truck in attempt to solve bird problem

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PARSONS, Ks. — A Southeast Kansas downtown has a bird problem–so they’re using a fire truck to try and solve it. The city is attempting to relocate thousands of birds after hearing from a number of concerned businesses.

Each night this week, fire trucks roll near the roosting trees, sound a large air horn, and spray the trees with water.

The percussion of the air horn followed by the fire hose is expected to prompt the birds to move away. The hope is to keep them from staying all night in the downtown trees, which creates an unhealthy situation with their droppings.

Jim Zaleski, Economic Director Development Director, Parsons, said, “We’re talking about thousands of birds that roost overnight and you know what they leave behind was getting tracked into some of the businesses, it was getting tracked along Main Street. So it’s really a health issue and also a cleanliness issue. We just want to make sure that the birds aren’t leaving anything that can be dangerous.”

Kenny Ward, Fire Chief, Parsons, said, “The amount of water pressure that we use would barely knock them out of the tree. What it does is it startles them. So we blast our air horn and then immediately after blasting the air horn, then we shoot them with water and just to get them out of the tree. It’s not to hurt them.”

The birds are believed to be starlings which are an invasive species and can steal habitat from native species. The process will be repeated over the next several days and then evaluated to see if it is working.

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