Roosting birds leave their mark

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Pooped: Jamie Stuart, Cameron Price and Alex Levy survey the birds’ nightly mess in Main Street. Picture: Yanni

BIRD droppings on the footpath under Main Street, Mornington’s trees is a daily problem for shoppers and traders – one which won’t fly away anytime soon.

Despite regular cleaning by the Mornington Peninsula Shire and traders, the nightly roosting of starlings and Indian minahs and their telltale souvenirs can make window shopping dangerous for pedestrians.

“I’ve seen two people slip over,” Grand Hotel general manager Cameron Price said.

About 18 months ago he installed $4000 spotlights under trees outside the hotel’s sportsman’s bar area to deter the birds.

“As soon as someone breaks a hip something will be done about it,” he said.

Mr Price said the area outside the hotel’s nightclub area was “coated every morning” but admitted not knowing “what the solution is”.

Mornington Chamber of Commerce’s Alex Levy said the chamber was not blaming anyone for not cleaning up the mess, which occurred on both sides of the street.

“I’m not sure who is meant to clean it up, but we seem to have this conversation every year – and it affects the Wednesday market days as well,” she said. “Traders sweep up the mess outside their shops, but why should they have to clean out to two metres? It’s disgusting.”

Chamber committee member Jamie Stuart said the droppings were an “ongoing battle”.

“We are concerned because sections of the street become tripping hazards,” he said.

“After heavy rain the droppings sit in stagnant water and may become a health issue.”

Mr Stuart said the chamber had no issue with the council and would assist with feedback on the best ways to tackle the problem.

Meanwhile, the birds do what comes naturally.

First published in the Mornington News – 21 May 2019

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