Residents Say Bird Creating Health Hazard in Southeast D.C. Neighborhood

Coping with dirty streets, cars

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    Birds have taken over a neighborhood in southeast DC. Residents say the flock is destroying the sidewalks and creating a health hazard. News 4's Derrick Ward has more on the dirty situation. (Published Friday, May 18, 2012)

    Birds are taking over a neighborhood in southeast D.C., where residents say they are destroying the sidewalks and creating a health hazard.

    The picturesque block on the eastern edge of Capitol Hill along Potomac Avenue is beset upon daily by a menace from above, residents say.

    Plastic owls have been placed in trees to try to scare the real birds, but maybe they just scare something out of the birds, instead.

    “They just poop all over the place,” one resident said.

    That covers sidewalks and cars.

    “It starts to smell, especially when it gets warmer,” resident Sarah Cederberg said.

    The birds return home to roost daily at dusk. In addition to the fake owls, there are lights on the block now, which will shine into the trees to scare the birds.

    There are concerns about the bird waste underfoot and tracking it into homes.

    “It’s real bad,” Greg Graves said. “I mean it’s a health hazard.”

    The residents usually get relief later in the summer.

    “I was reading up on it,” Graves said. “The percussion of the fireworks scares them away. So by the time the city comes by on the Fourth, around [then], they’re almost always gone so they never get to see them.”

    You might say the residents are becoming bird experts.

    “Yeah, car wash experts, too,” Graves said.