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Not easy repelling birds: Town Council

The Nee Soon Town Council has been trying various methods to handle the bird situation, but without much success.

A town council spokesman said there have been ongoing trials with repellents, but the birds adapt and return to roost. Pruning has not been effective either.

They found that temporarily displaced birds tend to move to a different area, sometimes even closer to residential buildings.

They will roost there temporarily before returning to the original tree.

The spokesman added: "Given our tropical climate, the trees grow back fairly quickly and in the long run, (pruning) is not a cost-effective and sustainable solution."

About 20 years ago, the town council tried to disperse the birds using a hot gel applied on the tree branches, which would cause the birds to feel a hot sensation when they perch.

Although it was effective in the first week, the birds returned a week later.

It was later found that the birds had laid twigs and leaves on top of these branches before stepping on them.

In 2007, the town council used 25 to 30 repellent-filled canisters per tree to repel the birds.

Again, it was effective for only one week.

Ms Julienne Kee, a staff biologist at bird-control specialist company Mastermark, said: "Birds in general are pretty smart. They adapt very well, especially urban pest birds like mynahs and sparrows."

Ms Gloria Ngoi, the business development manger at Mastermark, said: "If bird spikes are placed in such a way where the birds have room to land, they will add twigs around the spikes to eventually make it their nest."

TOO MUCH FOOD

An Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore spokesman said that birds may be attracted to roost, forage or nest at a particular location for a variety of reasons such as easy availability and abundance of food and shelter.

The town council will continue to explore different options.

Its spokesman said: "We continue to trial different solutions with the various agencies.

"We are also looking to engage with animal-welfare groups to identify feasible, cost-effective solutions."